JOHANNESBURG, May 19 (Reuters) – A new case of wild polio found in Mozambique is very similar to a case previously reported in Malawi, the acting director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.
“When sequenced, that particular case (in Mozambique) had very close similarities to the case that had been reported in Malawi some weeks back,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma told a weekly news briefing.
In February, Malawi declared its first case of wild poliovirus in 30 years, when a three-year old girl in the Lilongwe district was paralysed as a result of her infection. read more
The case raised alarm because Africa was declared free of wild polio in 2020 and there are only two countries in the world where it is endemic: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan marked a year without cases in January 2022.
Polio, a highly infectious disease spread mainly through contamination by faecal matter, used to kill and paralyse thousands of children annually. There is no cure, but vaccination brought the world close to ending the wild form of the disease.