London: The discovery of a new polio-like virus in the US, which has led to 100 children developing paralysis, underlines how much work is still to be done to eradicate the crippling disease, a UK charity group said.
Scientists in the US discovered the virus after a six-year-old girl with paralysis tested positive for enterovirus C105. Although this is a newly discovered virus, it is in the same family as polio.
The virus has spread across 34 different states in the US, which means that chances of controlling the virus have been lowered drastically.
"This is very saddening news," said Ted Hill, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship.
"Setbacks like this only make us stronger though and even more determined to eradicate Polio in all its forms once and for all," Hill said.
Since 1988, a global initiative to eradicate polio was established, leading to the number of cases being lowered by over 99 per cent in 30 years, he said.
Through routine vaccination, an estimated 3,50,000 cases in 1988 were reduced to a reported 650 in 2011. However, the fight against polio still goes on.
"There's still a lot more work to be done to be rid of polio for good," said Hill.
Polio is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. It invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis in a matter of hours.