Newly polio-free India reports suspected case of polio

Just two weeks after the World Health Organization declared India a polio-free nation, an 18-month-old child was admitted to a Kolkata hospital with a suspected case of the crippling disease.

The child, a girl named Sumi, was hospitalized with symptoms of paralysis and fever. Stool samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune and the School of Tropical Medicine in Kolkata to be confirmed and results are expected within the next week, according to

"It is a suspected case of polio. In medical parlance, the symptoms are called acute flaccid paralysis. The patient is under observation," Kumar Kanti Das, a superintendent of the Baruipur subdivisional hospital, said, reports.

Shanta Naskar, the child's mother, said that Sumi began to drag her feet shortly after she was given a routine immunization at a health clinic in February.

"Several other babies in our locality are suffering from these symptoms," Shanta said, reports.

According to a local doctor, authorities have decided to launch an intensive surveillance program in Sumi's village, Indrabala, which is located near Baruipur.

"We have checked with the district administration. WHO officials have also rushed to the hospital. The child was administered oral polio vaccines more than once," Sanjay Mitra, principal secretary in charge of health department, said, according to

If Sumi tests positive for polio, it may raise questions about the effectiveness of the vaccine used in India's immunization drives. India was declared free of polio after a year passed without a new polio case reported.