Polio ‘could spread and mutate’ says Angus Dalgleish
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Poliovirus has been found in sewage from London recently, and now the NHS says there are concerns not enough children are vaccinated in the capital. The NHS said: “Children aged one to nine years old in London are being offered a dose of polio vaccine.
“For some children, this may be an extra dose on top of their routine vaccinations.
“In other children, it may bring them up to date with their routine vaccinations.
“There are signs the virus may be spreading in London and the number of children vaccinated in London is lower than it should be.
“Boosting immunity in children should help protect them and reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread.”
Although the risk of catching polio remains “low”, those who are unvaccinated are more likely to become ill.
Washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day also helps you avoid catching and spreading viruses.
However, parents should also be aware of the common symptoms of polio in children.
If caught in its early stages, polio can be monitored to ensure the virus does not cause serious implications. Although there is no treatment for polio, some types of care will help lower the risk of long-term problems.
What are the common symptoms of polio?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states: “Polio mainly affects children under five years of age. However, anyone of any age who is unvaccinated can contract the disease.”
The most common symptoms of polio include:
- A high temperature
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Being sick (vomiting)
- A stiff neck
- Muscle pain
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Symptoms usually last up to 10 days but, in rare cases, polio can lead to more serious symptoms which affect the brain and nerves.
These can develop over a number of hours or days, and may even be life-threatening.
The NHS said: “Most people will recover, and movement will slowly come back over the next few weeks. Some people can be left with a permanent disability.”
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