Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria report more polio cases
Polio activity was reported in the three remaining endemic countries during the past week, according to data from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
In Afghanistan, two new cases of wild poliovirus (WPV) were reported from Watapur district in Kunar province and Batikot, Nangahar province. The total number of WPV cases for 2013 is now six. All six are WPV1 and all reported from Eastern Region.
In neighboring Pakistan, eight new WPV cases were reportedin the past week. Seven of the cases were reported from FATA province (five from North Waziristan, one from Khyber and one from a newly infected district – FR Dikhan) and one WPV case was reported in Peshawar, KP.
The total number of WPV1 cases for 2013 is now 36.
Nigeria reported two new WPV cases during the last week. The cases were reported from two previously infected districts, one from Bauchi Local Government Area (LGA) in Bauchi state and one from Bichi LGA in Kano state. The total number of WPV cases for 2013 is now 49.
Ethiopia, a country affected in the current Horn of Africa outbreak, reported their fourth case of polio from the previously infected Somali region, with onset of paralysis.
According to the GPEI, Polio is caused by a human enterovirus called the poliovirus. Wild polioviruses are those that occur naturally.
The poliovirus consists of an RNA genome enclosed in a protein shell called a capsid. There are three serotypes of wild poliovirus – type 1, type 2, and type 3 – each with a slightly different capsid protein.
Type 2 poliovirus has been eliminated in the wild – the last wild type 2 poliovirus was detected in India in 1999.
Only type 1 and type 3 wild poliovirus continue to circulate in endemic areas. Both are highly infectious and both cause paralytic polio. Type 1 is the most pervasive strain of poliovirus and type 3 is at very low levels.
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