FRESH CASES of polio from Lucknow have been confirmed. A Chennai-based laboratory, where samples were sent from the entire country for testing, found two positive cases from the State Capital.
The confirmation comes as a big blow to the polio eradication programme in the city, as Lucknow was recently declared ‘polio free city’. Declaration was done despite Uttar Pradesh falls under the category of highly endemic states according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
More so the chief medical officer Dr KK Singh had recommended the authorities to continue the immunization programme but the authorities decided to stick to the declaration and even cancelled one such scheduled immunization campaign on July 30.
Now, alert has been sounded by the authorities and they are planning to carry out another immunization campaign for administering the vaccine to kids under 5 years of age, to prevent further cases.
One of the cases reported positive is from the Shankarpur village under Madiyahu police area while another is from Kakori area. Health department teams that rushed to the given addresses found that one of the cases in the Kakori area was a migrant and had come from Sitapur district two months before.
Sitapur district administration has also been informed about the development, but as the child was administered vaccine in Lucknow health officials are on their toes to control the situation.
“Confirmation of fresh polio cases in the city have compelled us to go for yet another phase of pulse polio programme. As no cases came up in recent months Lucknow was declared polio free but it appears the programme has to go ahead until we reach the zero polio child mark,” said the district immunization officer, Dr AB Patni.
Lucknow is not alone to get fresh polio cases as 17 cases have been reported from the entire Uttar Pradesh where Muradabad has the maximum 7, Muzaffarnagar has 3, Hardoi has 1. In the state of Bihar 2 cases were reported positive after tests.
Last year, only 38 fresh polio cases were reported in the country while this year 138 fresh cases have come up.