Burundi’s government has declared a “national health emergency” after the polio virus was detected in the country for “the first time in more than three decades”. This was reported by the African branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
The polio virus was diagnosed “in a four-year-old child in Isale district, western Burundi, who had not been vaccinated against polio,” the WHO said in a statement. Two more children who were in contact with the four-year-old boy also became infected.
The presence of the polio virus was also confirmed in five samples of sewage taken by the environmental service of Burundi.
The government of Burundi is now planning to launch a vaccination campaign to protect all children between the ages of 0 and 7 from the virus, the WHO said.
According to the report, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), specifically a variant of poliovirus type 2 derived from the oral polio vaccine, has been detected in Burundi.
Polio is a contagious infectious disease that can cause paralysis and even death. Especially small children can suffer from infection. The highly contagious virus is often spread through contaminated water.
Source : HLN