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Mozambique confirms first wild poliovirus case in 30 years

  • Published
    21st May, 2022

Recently, Mozambique identified its first case of wild poliovirus Type 1 in 30 years.


About Polio:

  • Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that affects the nervous system.
  • In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function (paralysis).
  • Polio may be fatal if the muscles used for breathing are paralysed or if there is an infection of the brain.
  • As of today, wild poliovirus is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • The virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
    • Once that happens, the patient is crippled for life because there is no treatment for the affliction.
    • Polio infection, however, is easily preventable by a vaccine.
  • There are three variants of the poliovirus, numbered 1 to 3.
    • For a country to be declared polio-free, the wild transmission of all three kinds has to be stopped.
    • For eradication, cases of both wild and vaccine-derived polio infection have to be reduced to zero.

Polio cases in India

  • India was declared polio-free in January 2014, after three years of zero cases.
  • The last case due to wild poliovirus in the country was detected on January 13, 2011.
  • The WHO on February 24, 2012, removed India from the list of countries with active endemic wild poliovirus transmission.
  • India launched the Pulse Polio immunisation programme in 1995, after a resolution for a global initiative of polio eradication was adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1988.
  • To prevent the virus from coming to India, the government has since March 2014 made the Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) mandatory for those travelling between India and polio-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Syria and Cameroon.
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