“As an imported case from Pakistan, this detection does not affect the African region’s wild poliovirus-free certification status,” the WHO mentioned.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative mentioned the case in the southern African nation was in a three-year-old lady who skilled the onset of paralysis in November final yr.
Sequencing of the virus performed in February by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it as kind 1 wild poliovirus (WPV1).
“Detection of WPV1 outside the world’s two remaining endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a serious concern and underscores the importance of prioritizing polio immunization activities,” the Global Polio Eradication Initiative mentioned.
The WHO mentioned the African continent might launch a speedy response due to a excessive stage of polio surveillance.
“The last case of wild poliovirus in Africa was identified in northern Nigeria in 2016 and globally there were only five cases in 2021.
Any case of wild poliovirus is a significant event and we will mobilize all resources to support the country’s response,” mentioned Modjirom Ndoutabe, polio coordinator in the WHO’s regional workplace for Africa.
Polio is a extremely infectious illness that invades the nervous system and may trigger complete paralysis inside hours. While there isn’t a treatment for polio, it may be prevented by administration of a vaccine, the WHO mentioned.
Polio eradication efforts in Africa have prevented almost two million youngsters from crippling life-long paralysis and saved round 180,000 lives, the WHO mentioned.