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Indian city on alert after polio strain found in sewage water

Nearly 7 million people in Hyderabad have declared a "high alert" for polio after an active strain of the virus was found in samples of sewage water.

Indian city on alert after polio strain found in sewage water

An official said Wednesday that a vaccination drive will be launched after tests revealed a vaccine-derived poliovirus in sewage samples taken in the city, the capital of Telangana state.

Rajeshwar Tiwari, the state's top health official, said about 350,000 children ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years old will be vaccinated during the weeklong campaign. It is learned that the campaign will start on Monday.

Tiwari said that "a high alert" was declared in 24 sections of Hyderabad that had been identified as "most-sensitive areas."

India fought a long battle to eradicate polio completely, with the federal and state governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and several volunteer groups joining hands to eradicate the crippling disease.

Tiwari said the virus strain was found in May in a water sample traced to a sewage treatment plant in the Amberpet section of Hyderabad.