Mozambique has recorded it’s first case of polio outbreak in nearly three decades.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said the case which marks the second imported case of wild polio virus in southern Africa this year following an outbreak in Malawi in February, was found in the child who began experiencing the onset of paralysis towards the end of March.
“The detection of another case of wild poliovirus in Africa is greatly concerning … It shows how dangerous this virus is and how quickly it can spread,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in a statement.
Polio invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours. It cannot be cured, but infection can be prevented by vaccination – and a dramatic reduction in cases worldwide in recent decades has been due to intense national and regional immunization campaigns in babies and children.
In August 2020, Africa was declared free of poliomyelitis (polio), bringing to fruition a goal that took more than 30 years to achieve.