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Published On: Sat, May 11th, 2013

Somalia reports first wild poliovirus type 1 case since 2007

The wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) that was detected in a young girl from the Banadir region of Somalia has prompted an investigation into the situation, according to a World Health Organization alert today.

Poliovirus Credits:   CDC

Poliovirus Credits: CDC

According to a preliminary report, the virus was isolated from specimens collected on 21 April 2013 from a 32-month-old girl, who became ill due to acute flaccid paralysis on 18 April 2013, and from specimens collected from 3 of her close contacts.

This is the first WPV to be reported from Somalia since 25 March 2007.

An investigation team is on site; genetic sequencing of the virus is on-going to determine its origin. The preliminary results of these investigations will be reported as soon as possible, according to the WHO.

Given that substantial areas of central and southern Somalia have not conducted vaccination activities since 2009, the confirmation of WPV circulation would constitute a serious national and international risk to public health.

A surveillance alert has been issued for countries bordering Somalia.

An immediate vaccination response with oral polio vaccine (OPV) is being planned to begin on May 14-16 to reach more than 350,000 children under the age of five in all the 16 districts of Banadir region, with a series of subsequent activities, including nationwide OPV campaigns, under discussion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), polio, or poliomyelitis, is a disease caused by a virus that affects a person’s nervous system. Polio is mainly spread by ingesting items contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Polio can also be spread through, water, other drinks and uncooked food. The disease mainly affects children less than 5 years old, but unvaccinated people of any age are at risk. Even though most infected people have no symptoms, signs and symptoms of severe illness may include paralysis of limbs and respiratory muscles.

There are three countries left on the planet that have not succeeded in interrupting polio transmission and are considered endemic: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. The Top 10 Infectious Disease and Outbreak News stories of 2013 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] news. The outbreak of polio on the Horn of Africa that began with it’s first case in Somalia in April, grew to 203 cases total in Somalia, Kenya and […]

  2. Somalia reports three new polio cases from Mudug, five cases reported in Horn of Africa outbreak in 2014 | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] polio outbreak in the Horn of Africa that began in Somalia in April 2013 continues into the summer of 2014 as Somalia reports three additional cases of wild poliovirus 1 […]

  3. Polio 2013: by the numbers | All Somalia says:

    […] For Somalia, it was their first case of wild poliovirus since 2007. In Kenya, it was the first case since 2011 and for Ethiopia, the first case since 2008. […]

  4. Polio 2013: by the numbers - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] For Somalia, it was their first case of wild poliovirus since 2007. In Kenya, it was the first case since 2011 and for Ethiopia, the first case since 2008. […]

  5. Four more polio cases reported in Horn of Africa outbreak - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] polio outbreak in Somalia began with its first case in April. These are the first wild poliovirus cases reported in Somalia since […]

  6. Somalia polio outbreak climbs to 160 cases - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] polio outbreak in Somalia began with its first case in April. These are the first wild poliovirus cases reported in Somalia since […]

  7. Poliovirus found in Israeli sewage, CDC issues polio travel notice for Somalia and Kenya - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Based on reports from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, there have been four cases reported from Somalia in May 2013. These are the first wild poliovirus cases reported in Somalia since 2007. […]

  8. Kenya reports polio outbreak, first confirmed cases in two years - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] addition, as reported earlier this month, a case of WPV1 was confirmed in a young girl in Banadir, Somalia about two weeks […]

  9. laura says:

    And the immigration minister wonders why we don’t want any more immigrants to the U.S and Canada. The immigrants have horrible diseases that we don’t need here, plus they are a burdeon to our justice/health and social programs.

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