Malawi’s health officials announced a polio incident after a case was discovered in a small kid in the capital Lilongwe, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated. This is the first instance of wild poliovirus on the African continent in over five years.
According to the WHO, lab examination revealed that the strain found in Malawi was connected to one that had been spreading in Pakistan, wherein it is still prevalent.
The WHO stated that the latest incidence had no impact on Africa’s classification as clear of wild polio from August 2020.
WHO stated it was assisting Malawi’s public health officials by analyzing the risk and outbreak reaction, as well as sending the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) quick reaction team. It is also increasing supplementary immunization.
What is polio?
Polio is an infectious disease that can cause paralysis and even death. It occurs when the poliovirus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the feces of someone who has polio or from objects such as toys or utensils that have been contaminated by fecal matter. You cannot catch polio from someone who has it, but you can become infected by coming into contact with the virus in this manner.
The virus can then attack and spread to a person’s central nervous system, where it leads to paralysis. Children younger than 5 years old are at the highest risk of infection, while adults seem to be more resistant. In fact, many children diagnosed with polio never show any symptoms of the disease.
There is no cure for polio, although vaccination can prevent it. The World Health Organization recommends that all children should receive multiple doses of the polio vaccine throughout their first five years of life to ensure full protection and to eliminate polio globally.