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Polio Is Back, WHO Warns!

Polio Is Back, WHO Warns!

The poliovirus can easily be imported into a polio-free country and can spread rapidly amongst unimmunized populations.

Fernando Fong

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the world is now facing a dangerous moment when polio re-emerges.

A senior WHO official said efforts were currently underway to vaccinate 23 million children in five African countries after the outbreak broke out in Malawi.

Last February, Malawi declared the first case of wild poliovirus in 30 years when a three-year-old girl from Lilongwe district was paralyzed from an infection with the disease.

The case raises concerns as Africa will be declared free of wild polio by 2020 and there are only two countries in the world declared endemic namely Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pakistan showed a year without a case last January.

WHO Africa Polio Coordinator, Modjirom Ndoutabe said, although the case only occurred in one country, but other countries also faced big problems.

Meanwhile, polio outbreak was just declared overrun September last year.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said the matter was personally informed by the WHO Representative Office to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore in its official message to the Health Ministry (KKM) on 10 September.

At the end of 2019, Malaysia was shocked by the confirmation of one polio case detected in Sabah, after 27 years of the country being free of polio cases in Malaysia.

Following the confirmation of the polio case, polio prevention and control efforts are being carried out and are still continuing even though the country is also hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar on ending polio in Malaysia last year.

Polio is a contagious disease caused by the polio virus that attacks the human nervous system.

It can cause lifelong permanent paralysis as well as being capable of causing respiratory failure and being fatal.

Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.


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