The polio virus was detected last month in the sewage system of the Utrecht Science Park in Bilthoven, a health and youth care researcher said. This is a variant used to make the polio vaccine.
There are four companies located on the Bildowan site that are allowed to work with the polio virus. Once every three weeks, samples are taken to check if the polio virus has entered the sewer.
Research is being done on where the virus comes from.
The virus may have come directly through the drain into the sewer or through the infected employee toilet. In the first case, there is no risk to public health. The Netherlands has a closed sewage system that ends up in virus-free treatment plants.
If a victim is an employee resource, there is risk. Those who are not vaccinated against polio can spread the polio virus in their own circle.
For this reason, sewage systems across the Netherlands are checking for the presence of the virus. The researcher pays particular attention to the sewage systems in the Bible belt because many people there are not vaccinated for religious reasons.
Not the first time
The polio virus was detected in the same sewer last year and last spring. The weakest strain of the virus used to make the last oral polio vaccine. The virus may have entered the sewer by an infected employee.
In 2017, two employees of a vaccine manufacturer in Bildowan died accidentally Infected with the polio virus. One of them actually suffered.
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