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Employee vaccine manufacturer infected with polio virus

Publication date: 02 May 2017
Modificationdate: 27 June 2017

Early April, a sealed room at a vaccine manufacturer was the site of an incident. Two employees were exposed to the polio virus. After the incident, the company took immediate actions to contain the virus. Tests have shown that one of the employees is infected with the polio virus. According to the protocol, the Municipal Health Services has documented all household contacts of the infected employee. As a precautionary measure, these persons will be monitored.

All employees that work at the vaccine production department have had a standard vaccination to prevent polio. This vaccination will prevent the infected employee from getting ill. However, this employee does carry the virus, and can spread it through secretion in faeces. The virus  is not present in the employee's throat. The employee is isolated at home and  hygienic measures  to prevent further spreading of the virus are taken.These measures will only be lifted when the virus is no longer present in the employee's faeces. This could take several weeks. The Municipal Health Services have also documented all household contacts of this employee; they will check whether these family members do not carry the virus. As a result of all these measures, the risk of the virus spreading any further is estimated negligible.

In the Netherlands, children from the age of two months are vaccinated against polio. Therefore the majority  of the population is protected against this disease. Nevertheless, it is important to take targeted measures regarding the person who has been infected, because there are also some people in the Netherlands who have not been vaccinated against polio.

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