Categories: Health & Fitness

Poliovirus epidemic in Burundi: the disease is not eradicated

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The detected virus is a type 2 vaccine strain and was found at an unvaccinated four-year-old childas well as in two other children who were in contact with him. Five samples from the environmental monitoring of waste also confirmed the presence of this poliovirus. This form of poliomyelitis is most prevalent in Africa, with more than 400 cases of “acute flaccid paralysis”. The Burundian government has detected the presence of the virus as “a national public health emergency” and plans to launch a polio vaccination campaign in order to protect all children between the ages of zero and seven against the virus (source 1). Polio disease being extremely contagiousit is contracted orally or through sewage and usually results in a severe flu condition. it can also cause other, more serious symptoms, such as gaping wounds, respiratory muscle paralysiswhich can lead to dead in most cases.

A disease still present even in the West

The New York State Department of Health recently advised New Yorkers to get polio vaccine before going in Israel, Or several children recently tested positive for the disease earlier this month. Four cases poliomyelitis were diagnosed in Safed, in the north of the country, a year after a small outbreak of polio in Israel. Since this epidemic, Israel re-listed by World Health Organization’s Polio Eradication Initiativewhich lists the countries affected by epidemic episodes (source 2).

Vaccination as the only shield against disease

Children are normally vaccinated against poliomyelitis, which is a effective preventive measure. However, distrust of vaccines allows the disease to reappear sporadically. Yet the sufficiently vaccinated populations present very low risk of contracting poliomyelitis. But, since the disease can be importedit is crucial to maintain high vaccination coverage until the disease is completely stopped. Vaccination is the main preventive measure to avoid the spread of the disease, since there is no no treatment for poliomyelitis. At the global level, the vaccination reduced the incidence of disease caused by wild virus of over 99%. In France, vaccination coverage against poliomyelitis is very high, with 99% for the primary vaccination and 96% for the booster in infants in 2019. The vaccine was compulsory up to the age of 12 until 2018, and it is now compulsory for infants born from 2018 (source 3).

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