The preliminary post-mortem report conducted on Joshua, the two-year-old from Padappai who died on Sunday, half an hour after he was given polio drops, showed that the lungs were congested, Principal Secretary, Health, V.K.Subburaj, said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Subburaj said this would be an indication that there had been aspiration of the food the child had eaten.

“The Oral Polio Vaccine cannot cause deaths, we were certain of that. The post-mortem had to be performed to find out the cause of sudden death of the child.”

The child reportedly had idlis and ice cream after he was brought back from the ICDS centre where he was vaccinated. Mr. Subburaj said that the parents had attested to the fact that the child was sleeping on his stomach; this might have led to aspiration (defined as the drawing of a foreign substance, such as gastric contents, into the respiratory tract during inhalation).

Pre-tested

All the vaccines used on Sunday were pre-tested a week ahead and all were found to be efficacious, Mr. Subburaj said. The final report (which will include a visceral examination) would be available in a week's time.

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