A one-and-a-half-year-old boy who was temporarily taking refuge under the Modinagar flyover is the city’s latest victim to be infected with polio.
This is the first case of polio detected this year. It was reported to the state health department on Friday from a hospital in Kalkaji.
Sonu, the victim, is a resident of Unnau district in Uttar Pradesh. He arrived in the city with his father Kamlesh in November last year, when first symptoms of polio started appearing.
Acting on the information, the health department sent their pulse polio team to the area. “We just received information on the polio case following which we have sent our team of experts to the area. We are investigating the matter,” principal secretary (health) Rakesh Behari told HT.
“Preliminary investigations revealed Sonu’s parents are one of the many poor families taking shelter under the Modinagar flyover. They returned to their native place Unnau on December 4,” said Dr C.M. Khaneju, officer on special duty for state’s pulse polio programme.
WHO officials confirmed that it was the P1 strain, which is the most dangerous form of polio virus as it can cause huge outbreaks and travel long distances.
P1 accounted for 95 per cent polio cases in the country till 2006.
According to the health experts, the child had carried the strain from the home state. “Modinagar flyover is a covered by the Delhi polio programme, as several beggars and migrant labourers live there. We conduct regular pulse polio camps there. The last two phases were on November 9 and then on December 21,” said Dr Khaneju.
Officials are not confirming whether they can count it as the Capital’s or UP’s first case.