Polio: Dr Hilary urges people to ensure they’re protected against the ‘potential threat’

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Polio describes a serious infection that can be prevented with vaccination. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shared that the risk from the current sewage sample is low but urged parents to ensure their children are immunised.

Dr Hilary has shared that the risk of polio is low as there’s not a single case but explained that the virus could pose a “potential threat” for some.

He said: “We haven’t got a single case in the UK and we haven’t had one since 1984.

“What we do have is evidence of polio virus in sewage works in one part of London.

“That virus has probably come from somebody, who’s come from overseas who had the old-fashioned oral vaccine, which we used to get on sugar lumps.

“It multiplies on the guts and is excreted and it gets into the sewage.

“But when that happens, it can mutate into a more virulent type of polio.

“And if children haven’t been fully vaccinated, they are potentially at risk. This is a potential threat.”

He explained that the most important thing is to make sure you are immunised.


Fortunately, the polio jab is part of the NHS routine childhood vaccination schedule.

Dr Hilary said: “It’s given in five doses, [at] eight weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks of age and then again preschool and then again at the age of 14.

“If you’ve had all five of your injectable vaccines, you’ve got nothing to worry about whatsoever.”

The people who had the oral vaccination on a sugar lump are also fully protected, the TV doctor added.

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