Sunday May 27, 2018

Polio death rumor sparks tension in Kashmir valley

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Srinagar: Authorities on Sunday appealed for calm after rumoured deaths of children following polio vaccination in the Kashmir Valley triggered a mad run to hospitals by hundreds of anxious parents with their children.

Huge crowds thronged hospitals across south Kashmir in the wake of the rumours, fearing for their own children who had been vaccinated, even as officials insisted that not a single death had occurred anywhere.

Mosques also made announcements asking parents not to panic.

“No death has been reported in the valley due to polio drops,” Anantnag Chief Medical Officer Fazil Kochak told agencies on the phone, adding “miscreants are propagating false information through social media.”Parents are requested not to heed these rumours which have no basis at all,” he added.

But despite the denials, scores of worried parents who had got their children vaccinated against polio rushed to hospitals. In Srinagar, this led to traffic jams.

Authorities urged radio and television stations to air the official denial to calm the situation. The polio drops are being administered across the Kashmir Valley through family welfare sub-centres as well as private and government hospitals.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Nitish Kumar told the agency that they were tracking the source of the rumour.  “We are trying to find out the source and will take legal action against the culprit,” he said.

A health employee at a hospital in Anantnag said hundreds of parents had brought their children who were administered polio drops.  The rumours suggesting deaths were baseless, said senior health department official Mandeep Bhandari, adding the polio vaccine was 100 percent safe. (IANS)(Image-crs-blog.org)

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A One-Shot Nanoparticle Vaccine for Polio is Developed by MIT scientists

A novel single-shot nanoparticle vaccine developed by MIT researchers could assist efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Currently, two to four polio vaccine injections are required to build up immunity, and because of the difficulty in reaching children in remote areas, the disease still prevails.

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vaccine, wikimedia

A novel single-shot nanoparticle vaccine developed by MIT researchers could assist efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Currently, two to four polio vaccine injections are required to build up immunity, and because of the difficulty in reaching children in remote areas, the disease still prevails.

The novel vaccine delivers multiple doses in just one injection to prevent the paralysis caused by the polio virus.

“Having a one-shot vaccine that can elicit full protection could be very valuable in being able to achieve eradication,” said Ana Jaklenec, a research scientist at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, US.

“Children in some of these hard-to-reach developing world locations tend to not get the full series of shots necessary for protection. The goal is to ensure that everyone globally is immunized,” Jaklenec added, in a paper appearing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To create a single-injection vaccine, the team encapsulated the inactivated polio vaccine in a biodegradable polymer known as PLGA.

polio
An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine .

This polymer can be designed to degrade after a certain period of time, allowing the researchers to control when the vaccine is released.

The researchers designed particles that would deliver an initial burst at the time of injection, followed by a second release about 25 days later.

They injected the particles into rats, and found that the blood samples from rats immunised with the single-injection particle vaccine had an antibody response against polio virus just as strong as, or stronger than, antibodies from rats that received two injections of Salk polio vaccine — the first polio vaccine, developed in the 1950s.

Furthermore, the researchers said that they could design vaccines that deliver more than two doses, each a month apart and hope to soon be able to test the vaccines in clinical trials.

Also Read: Parents More Worried About the Vaccines Rather Than the Disease

They are also working to apply this approach to create stable, single-injection vaccines for other viruses such as Ebola and HIV. (IANS)

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