New Delhi: The Health Ministry on Wednesday said that a special immunisation drive needs to be taken up in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts of Telangana, following reports that polio virus (P2 strain) has resurfaced in India.
The ministry denied reports of the virus having resurfaced, and said that the polio virus strain detected is a vaccine derived polio virus (VDPV) in a sewage sample collected near the Secunderabad railway station.
“India continues to be polio free as the country has eradicated wild polio virus, and the last case was seen on January 13, 2011. It is more than five years that no wild polio virus has been detected,” said a statement from the Ministry.
The Ministry also said that the last case of Wild Polio Virus Type 2 in the country was reported 17 years back in 1999.
“The detection of vaccine derived polio virus (VPDV) does not change the polio free status. It only indicates the robustness of the surveillance system and willingness of the country to detect any kind of polio virus even from the environment (sewage),” said the statement, adding that vaccine derived polio viruses are a rare strain of the polio virus that have genetically mutated from the strain contained in the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).