New Delhi: Approximately one year ago WHO declared Polio free India, but that reports may be termed wrong. According to the recent reports, more than 200 samples have been found positive for similar polio-like symptoms in some districts of Uttar Pradesh.

This report compile all of us that Is polio virus hits India ones again?

“Some officials had informed that these polio infected children aged between five year old and Fifteen years complained of paralysis and loss of muscular strength in hands and legs”, as per Times Of India reported on Saturday.

Polio drop child
Over 200 samples tested positive to polio-like symptoms in Uttar Pradesh

These polio-like symptoms samples had been collected from different locations in Uttar Pradesh like- Baheri, Meergunj, Faridpur and Nawabgunj. Now they have been sent for testing to the central laboratory in Mumbai.

When asked about the development which is setting alarm bell in the State, Vijay Yadav who is chief medical officer (CMO) said, “Weakness in hands and legs does not essentially mean that the child is suffering from Polio virus.”

“Only if the test report of the stool sample confirms presence of wild polio virus can it be treated as a case of polio. We have received reports of 170 samples from the lab so far and they have been negative. Reports for the remaining are awaited,” Vijay Yadav added in his statement to TOI.

The latest suspected case of Polio was detected by a team of doctors while they were on visit at primary and community health centers in the affected tehsil in UP. Later they informed WHO officials about the same.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) rules, a country needs to have zero recorded cases of an infectious disease for three years for the disease to be eradicated.

The last case of polio in the country was detected from West Bengal, where 18-month-old Rukhsar was found affected with the disease on 13 January 2011. By the WHO officials, India was certified as a polio-free nation by March, leaving Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria as the remaining polio endemic countries.

In Uttar Pradesh, the last case of Polio was caught in 2009. Reportedly, total 5,551 samples were collected by WHO in 2015 and sent for lab tests. Maximum out of these samples were found negative for the Polio symptoms.

Latest report about testing the samples by WHO says that, lab test of 787 samples out of 5,551 and rest are still to be under process.

The symptoms that have emerged in UP, though like to polio, point towards Non Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis – a disease the government has decidedly ignored.

WHO defines the Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) syndrome as “as a sudden onset of paralysis/weakness in any part of the body of a child less than fifteen years of age”. There are many causes of AFP, so each AFP needs to be analyzed to find out if the paralysis is due to polio infection or not. Polio is only one out of the many causes.

Although according to the recent reports, the incidence of polio acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) came down in India, the non-polio AFP (NPAFP) rate increased.

Nationwide, the NPAFP rate is 11.82/100,000 where the expected rate is 1-2/100,000.

Mint had reported last about the alarming rise in cases of NPAFP while the country celebrated its newly acquired polio free status.

In 2004, twelve thousands cases of NPAFP were reported in the country, which increased to twenty five thousands in 2005. In 2007, the number crossed forty thousands and in 2011, the year India reported its last polio case, nearly sixty one thousands children were found to be suffering from NPAFP.

The incidence of NPAFP went down in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in 2012, with a decrease in the number of oral polio vaccine (OPV) doses delivered.

There were 53,421 AFP cases in 2013 which decreased slightly to 53,383 in 2014.

Health experts who have been closely following this trend suggest that the children in Uttar Pradesh could be suffering from a different, but equally worrying, strain of like polio-virus.



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