Published On: Sun, Sep 1st, 2013

Somalia polio cases rise by 20, brings total to 128

The polio outbreak on the Horn of Africa continues to rise with 21 new cases being reported in the area during the past week, according to the latest Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) data.

Somalia map - CIA source

Somalia map – CIA source

The public-private polio eradication initiative reports 20 new wild poliovirus 1 (WPV1) cases in the past week in Somalia and one in Kenya. The total number of WPV1 cases on the Horn of Africa for 2013 is 142 (128 from Somalia, 13 from Kenya, 1 from Ethiopia). The most recent WPV1 case in the region had onset of paralysis on 30 July (from Somalia).

  • The outbreak is spreading geographically in Somalia, with two new states reporting cases: Galgadud and Gedo. Anticipation of this spread has driven intense vaccination activities across the country, in an effort to raise immunity.
  • Of the three polio endemic countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, only Pakistan reported a new case of WPV during the past week.

This case is from FR Bannu in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with onset of paralysis on 27 July. This is the most recent case in the country and brings the total number of WPV1 cases for 2013 to 25.

There is a total of 72 cases in 2013 to date from the polio endemic countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. The virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.

Polio mainly affects children under five years of age.

There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.

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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. WHO declared polio emergency: new outbreaks an "extraordinary event" | PKonweb says:

    […] Somalia polio cases rise by 20, brings total to 128 […]

  2. KISMAAYO.com – Breaking News, Somalia, Opinion and Religion – Somalia Polio Cases Rise By 20, Brings Total To 128 says:

    […] -Adapted from The Global Dispatch […]

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