Experts are still in the dark regarding the exact cause of the deteriorating condition of a nine-month-old Mumbai boy Arsh Singh suffering from paralysis of the lungs.

Debate is on whether the paralysis was a result of the type 2 vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV) and even the National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP) confirmed that the child tested positive for VDPV.

“As on Monday, the diagnosis is that the child suffers from the Guillian Barre syndrome and the doctors continue to treat him for the same,” said Dr Satish Pawar, director, directorate of health services.

No concrete results could be ascertained till tests confirm the exact situation and only after the results of the tests were out, the mystery behind the reason of paralysis in the baby would be unraveled.

“The baby’s stool samples have been taken by the government, and they will be tested thoroughly. Only when the final reports come, which can be expected next week, will we be sure about the baby’s condition,” said Dr Pawar.

Condition of child very critical

The child is currently being treated at the BJ Wadia Hospital in Parel and doctors have confirmed that his condition is critical.

Dr Nitin Shah, former president of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), said, “It is a rare complication, but VDPV does exist. Since there is no more wild polio virus in the country, it is an ethical dilemma whether or not oral polio vaccination should be stopped. Moreover, the injectable polio vaccination, if given along with the oral one, does not cause vaccine-derived polio.”

But the problem is that vaccination alone cannot uproot polio from the roots and it is important to tackle the sanitation and malnutrition issues to eradicate this disorder.

Talking about the vaccine, experts said the vaccine makes the body’s immune system recognize the agent as a foreign body, destroy it, and ‘remember’ it.

Maha to test 100 kids from Navi Mumbai

The additional chief secretary for public health has launched a drive to review the vaccination programme in the state from where the VDPV case was reported.

A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) visited Arsh Singh at the hospital and took a detailed medical history.

Sources said the experts have directed the treating doctors to resent his blood and stool samples for another battery of tests to confirm the virus.

“Apart from testing children for the virus, we will also test about 20 to 25 adults who have come in contact with the child,” Dr Pawar said.

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