It’s been nearly 40 years since the UK detected it’s last outbreak of poliovirus, an infection feared for its ability to leave patients paralysed and crippled.
At this stage, it’s not clear. In an announcement made on Wednesday, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the virus has been identified in sewage samples taken from London between February and May 2022.
The agency said it is “likely” that the virus has been spreading between “closely-linked” individuals in North-East London, and an investigation has been launched to establish if any community transmission is occurring.
For now, no suspected cases have been reported or confirmed. Nor have any associated cases of paralytic polio been detected.
The samples were picked up at London Beckton Sewage Works, which covers a population of roughly four million people.