Polio resurfaces in Mali and Ukraine

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Countries in Ebola-ravaged West Africa are on high alert after a case of polio was confirmed in a toddler in Mali on 7 September, just a week after two cases were reported in southwestern Ukraine. The outbreaks are unrelated, but in both instances the culprit is a so-called vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV). These rare VDPVs arise when a virus used in the live vaccine reverts from its weakened form and regains its virulence—a danger when vaccination rates are low, as they are in both places, allowing the vaccine strain to circulate and accumulate genetic mutations.In West Africa, a 19-month-old boy was paralyzed in Guinea on 20 July and then traveled to the Malian capital for treatment, where polio was confirmed. The type 2 VDPV is closely related to one detected in the Kankan region of Guinea in 2014, which researchers believe has been circulating undetected for 2 years. Because health systems in West Africa have been decimated and immunization rates have fallen precipitiously, the World Health Organization (WHO) deems the risk of spread high.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Ukraine, with its social unrest and decline in childhood immunization—about 50% of children were un- or underimmunized in 2014—has also been considered at high risk of a polio outbreak. Two children there, a 4-year-old and a 10-month-old, were paralyzed on 30 June and 7 July, respectively; VDPV type 1 was confirmed 31 August. The risk of spread within Ukraine is high, WHO says, although the risk of international spread is low.The two outbreaks—polio is so contagious that a single case is considered an outbreak—underscore the urgency of all countries stopping the use of the live oral vaccine, a key strategy in the polio eradication endgame, says Hamid Jafari, who directs global polio eradication at WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. For now, whether a wild or vaccine-derived virus causes an outbreak, the response is the same: Hit the area hard and fast with massive immunization rounds and quash it within 4 months. Emergency campaigns could start as early as this week.last_img

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