The first case of polio girl in many years without polio cases in Africa

Malawi recorded the first WPV case in Africa in 5 years, the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) confirmed on 17 February 2022. The case was found to be genetically related to WPV1 was discovered in October 2019 in the Sindh province of Pakistan – one of two countries.

“The detection of WPV1 outside of the world’s two remaining endemic countries is a serious concern and underscores the importance of prioritizing polio vaccination activities. Until polio, are completely excluded, all countries remain at risk of importation and must maintain high vaccination rates to protect all children from polio,” said the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. (GPEI) note.

The girl showed signs of paralysis from November 19, 2021. On November 26 and 27, her stool samples were taken for testing.

In February, the presence of WPV was confirmed by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in South Africa and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

GPEI also said, “GPEI is assisting health authorities in Malawi to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation and initiate emergency vaccination operations in the region to minimize any risk of transmission. Surveillance measures are also being extended in Malawi and surrounding countries to detect any other potential transmission routes that go undetected.”

This is the first WPV case in Malawi in three decades. In August 2020, Africa was declared WPV-free. This finding does not change that condition.

The detection of polio in excluded countries has been documented in the past. The polio eradication program “worked rapidly to successfully contain transmission of the virus in these areas.”

Between January and October 2020, 129 cases of WPV were reported. According to the 30th meeting of the Emergency Committee under International Health Regulations held on 3 November, Pakistan’s key barrier to curbing the spread of polio remains “persistent children”. miss” has not been vaccinated.

Immigrants, nomads and displaced people are also part of the country’s “high-risk population”. In a conflict zone like Afghanistan, the “cumulative backlog of unvaccinated children due to prolonged inaccessibility” is the single biggest reason the disease continues to spread.

Vigilance is key to limiting the spread. Director of Polio Elimination Aidan O’Leary at WHO said, “Strengthening surveillance in Malawi and neighboring countries in response to a detected case. It is imperative to look for evidence of transmission and achieve rapid and high coverage through vaccination response.”

Source: Medindia

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