Another Case Of Wild Polio Reported In East Africa

Mozambique has become the latest African country to report a new case of wild polio. For this country, this is the first reported case in three decades.

Mozambique Confirms Rare Case Of Polio

Mozambique this week confirmed that it has identified its first case of wild polio in 30 years. This follows the recent discovery of a similar strain in Malawi earlier this year.

According to World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Mathidiso Moeti, the news of the new case, which occurred in a child in Tete province, is of alarming concern. She said the discovery fully demonstrates once again just how dangerous the virus is and how effortlessly it is able to spread.

While Africa was officially declared free of the childhood virus in 2020, Moeti confirmed that this record will not be affected by the latest discovery. She explained that this was because the virus is considered an imported strain of wild polio.

Virus Practically Eradicated  

Following major strides and commitment by especially the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the eradication of polio is considered one of the greatest breakthroughs in the world of medical science. Today, wild polio is endemic only in two countries, namely Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The case detected in Mozambique is the country’s first since 1992. The affected child was tested for the virus after they started to experience a symptom common for the disease in March, namely paralysis.

With the help of genomic sequencing, it was soon established that the case was linked to a strain that spread wild and fast in Pakistan in 2019. It also shares similarities with the case detected in Malawi.

According to Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, who is the deputy director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the case detected in Malawi shares many sequencing similarities with the one in Mozambique.

Malawi announced its first case of wild polio in 3 decades in February. A three-year-old child from the district of Lilongwe was paralysed by the virus.

Further Crisis Unlikely

While polio is a highly infectious disease, an initial analysis of the samples collected from close contacts has revealed that the virus has not yet spread to anybody else in Mozambique. Those who may be affected should quarantine and play bingo online for money rather than go to a local hall. 

There is no cure for wild polio, and the disease is spread mainly via oral contamination by faeces.

Dr. Moeti said this week that the next important step in combatting the spread of the virus is to aid governments in Southern Africa in setting up effective vaccination campaigns on a large scale. She said that this will halt the spread of the paralyzing virus, and also protect vulnerable children from its debilitating effects.

Mozambique has already carried out two mass vaccination campaigns in response to the case discovered in Malawi. Some 4.2 million children were vaccinated against wild polio during the vaccination drives.

The most dangerous symptom of infection is paralysis. It can lead not only to permanent disability but also to death. Also dangerous is the fact that about 72 out of 100 people infected with the virus will not show any visible symptoms. This makes the virus much more likely to spread undetected.

Other symptoms include lethargy, fever, a sore throat, headaches, and abdominal pain. Symptoms usually last between 2 and 5 days.

Author: Dexter Sinistri

Dexter Sinistri is a famously centrist writer who has worked as a Hollywood correspondent for a number of leading publications since 2005. Though once a photographer, Mr. Sinistri struck out as a writer on all things celebrity, and he likes to consider himself a tremendous asset to Glossy News, though by most accounts, he has fallen somewhat short of this effort.

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