A virus that disappeared in the eighties returns and mobilizes British medical staff

In light of the renewed spread of the “polio” virus in London for the first time since the eighties, Britain will launch a campaign to give a booster dose of vaccines to prevent the virus, to those under the age of ten years.

The Health Security Agency detected 116 polioviruses in 19 sanitation samples this year in London.

No infections have been detected so far, but in an attempt to anticipate any possible outbreak, the authorities will invite children between the ages of one and nine years to receive a booster dose of the vaccine, according to "Reuters".

Immunization rates vary across London but remain on average below the 95 percent coverage rate, which the World Health Organization suggests is necessary to keep polio under control.

But the ability of polio to regain a foothold, albeit limited, within the confines of an advanced health system, warns that the virus is still able to return as long as medicine has not completely eliminated it.

The monitoring of these cases of polio in Britain raises questions about why it appears in the United Kingdom and not in other European countries.

Some vaccines depend on injecting the body with dead or very weak copies of viruses so that the immune system can recognize them and be able to neutralize them, in the event of an actual infection.

During the past 20 years, only four cases of dead or attenuated virus in the vaccine have been recorded, two of them in Ukraine, a third in Tajikistan, and a fourth in Israel.

Health experts say that when the level of vaccination is poor somewhere, the weakened virus can live for a long time and may mutate and pass into a more deadly form.

The virus infects 1 out of every 200 children with incurable paralysis, while 5-10% of them die if the disease extends to the respiratory system.

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