City’s second polio case | delhi | Hindustan Times
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City’s second polio case

A 14-month-old baby boy became the Capital’s second polio victim this year, after a 22-month-old baby girl in February. The boy has tested positive for P1 polio virus, the more dangerous of the two strains that is found in India, Jaya Shroff Bhalla reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 11, 2009 00:01 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla

A 14-month-old baby boy became the Capital’s second polio victim this year, after a 22-month-old baby girl in February. The boy has tested positive for P1 polio virus, the more dangerous of the two strains that is found in India.

Twenty-four cases of polio were reported in the country so far this year. Sixteen cases have been reported in Uttar Pradesh and five in Bihar.

In 2008, the Capital had reported five polio cases, four caused by P1 and one by the less deadly P3 strain. All the cases were reported among migrants living in slums.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), which confirmed the diagnosis, the child belongs to the Mahawat community (gypsy) who come from UP and Haryana.

Although the case has been detected from a slum in Narela in north Delhi, officials were unable to say from where the child picked the infection.

“Unless we get the genetic linkage, it is difficult to say from where he has picked the infection. It could be UP or even Haryana,” said an official, who did not give his name as he is not authorized to talk to media. The samples of the child have been sent to Mumbai for genetic verification.

The boy’s family, who are ragpickers, confirmed that the child had not received any vaccination, making him most vulnerable to the virus strains.

“Migrant populations are at greatest risk of getting infected with polio, having missed immunisation while on the move,” said the official.

The National Polio Surveillance Programme focuses mainly on eradicating P1 strain of virus mainly in young children below 2 years.

In February this year, a 22-month-old girl, Bushra, from north Shahadra in Delhi was tested for P1 polio virus strain. According to her family living in a slum cluster in Zafarabad, the child had not received any routine immunization doses.

In 2008, India recorded 549 polio cases of which 68 were caused by the P1 strain and 481 were P3 infections.

UP recorded 297 cases while Bihar reported 232 polio infections.