Days after a polio scare was reported in Telangana, a suspected polio case has been detected in Uttar Pradesh, prompting the Union Health Ministry to initiate a probe even as it sought to allay concerns, saying no case of the crippling disease was reported in the country since 2011.
The suspected case was detected in Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur district, following which the state health officials have sent a report to the WHO.
The Union Health Ministry maintained on Friday that it probes thousands of such cases every year and none of them have been found to be of polio and the child in this particular case has been tested and kept under observation.
"A six-year-old child of Padrauna village in Gaisdi was admitted to a hospital, where doctors suspect that he is suffering from polio. Further check-ups are on," district hospital superintendent SI Zaidi said.
"We are awaiting his test reports. WHO has also been intimated about it," he said. The World Health Organisation (WHO) India Country Office, when asked about the suspected polio case in Balrampur said, "There is no 'case' (paralysed child) from VDPV in Balrampur as is being reported in some sections of the media."
Health Ministry sources said the child is still under observation and the test reports have been sent to the laboratory and within 2-3 weeks, the results are expected to come.
However as per preliminary investigations, it has been found that the child has been administered 20 doses of polio vaccination.
Senior Health Ministry officials said that nearly 55,000 tests of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), which determines whether it's a vaccine-derived polio viruses (VDPV) or wild polio, are conducted every year and all of them have turned out to be non-polio AFP.
"All AFP cases by default gets investigated in the country. It's a standard protocol which the Ministry is following. Balrampur (case) is also one of the cases which is also being investigated.
"Since January 13, 2011 we have been picking up 45,000-55,000 AFP cases every year. All of them have turned out to be non-polio AFP. Since 2011, there has been no polio cases," Pradeep Haldar, Deputy commissioner, Immunisation, Health Ministry told PTI, adding that only one VDPV case was detected in 2016 in Bihar.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister S P Yadav said the matter has been taken seriously and a team of doctors have been asked to verify it.
The Balrampur case comes just days after a VPDV type 2 was detected in a sewage sample collected from a site in Hyderabad in Telangana.