Indian state on alert as polio strain found in sewage water

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — The southern Indian state of Telangana has declared a “high alert” for polio after an active strain of the virus was found in samples of sewage water in the state capital.

Rajeshwar Tiwari, Telangana’s top health official, said Wednesday that a vaccination drive will be launched next week after tests revealed the Type-2 polio virus in sewage samples.

He said about 350,000 children ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years old will be vaccinated in the weeklong campaign, which will start on Monday.

The virus strain was detected during random tests of sewage that have been carried out regularly since India was formally declared polio-free in 2014. The last case of the crippling disease in the country was detected in the eastern state of West Bengal in 2011.

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