Polio detected in a new spot in Africa

Picture 12A case of type 1 polio has been reported in the Banadir region of Somalia, accrding to Rotary International. Is is the African nation’s country’s first case since March 2007.

Genetic sequencing suggests the virus is closely related to a type 1 virus strain circulating in Nigeria.

In response to the outbreak, an immunization campaign took place this week, aimed at reaching more than 350,000 children in the Banadir region.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a surveillance alert for Somalia and bordering areas of northern Kenya and eastern Ethiopia, highlighting the need for urgent searches for additional cases of acute flaccid paralysis and suspected polio in all health facilities. WHO has also advised all countries in Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region to heighten their surveillance for poliovirus.

While only three countries remain polio-endemic — Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan — the world is at risk of outbreaks until all three stop the virus. Continued support for polio eradication is needed to ensure that the progress gained is not lost.


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