UPDATED report 9-26-14: The Netherlands issue shellfish warning following Belgium polio incident

On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, following a human error, 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution were released into the environment by the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Rixensart city, Belgium. The water from the treatment plant in question is not discharged to the supply network for drinking water, according to a press release last Friday (computer translated).

Belgium map/CIA
Belgium map/CIA

Belgian health authorities were directly involved at the request of the Minister of Public Health, all necessary measures were taken as soon as they were notified of the situation. The Scientific Institute of Public Health and the Supreme Council of Health have conducted a risk analysis and confirm that there is no public health risk for the population.

The risk assessment  concludes that from the junction of river Lasne with the river Dyle the dilution of the virus in the river water brings the risk to negligible. As a precaution, a booster dose of polio vaccine was recommended to persons who have been in contact with the water of river Lasne from 2 September until the date when the precautionary measures will be lifted.

In addition, samples of mud and water from the treatment plant of Rosieres, Lasne and Dyle were taken Saturday, Sept. 6 to allow time to evaluate the persistence of the virus. The testing of these samples are negative: no presence of polio virus was detected, according to the Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment in Belgium (computer translated).