Who: One case of wild-type poliovirus in southern Africa

2022-06-18 0 By

A case of polio has been detected in the capital of the southern African nation of Malawi, the World Health Organization said Thursday, ACCORDING to ABC News.This is yet another setback in the continuing global effort to eradicate this acute infectious disease.Officials found wild-type polio in a young child in Lilongwe, the first case of wild-type poliovirus on the African continent in five years, the WHO said in a statement On Friday.Although polio has spread in many African countries in recent years, outbreaks of the disease have been linked to viruses originally included in vaccines, not the wild-type virus.In very rare cases, the live virus in the oral polio vaccine can mutate into a version that can cause an epidemic, especially in people who have not been immunized.Laboratory tests show that the polio virus detected in Malawi is related to a strain circulating in Pakistan’s Sindh province, where polio remains widespread, who said.”As long as wild poliovirus exists anywhere in the world, all countries will be at risk of importation,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, who regional director for Africa.The poliovirus is spread mainly from person to person or through contaminated water.It attacks the nervous system and can sometimes paralyze a person within hours.The disease, which mainly affects children under the age of five, has been largely eliminated in developed countries.Who health officials say polio is endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but cases have also been reported in many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia in recent years.Who and its partners have been working to eliminate polio for decades. Their original deadline was to eliminate the disease by the year 2000, but events since then have pushed that goal back and forth.During the pandemic, many disease control efforts were interrupted, allowing the disease to spread further.Some officials warned it could be a devastating setback for polio eradication.