Burundi declares epidemic of circulating poliovirus type 2

by MMC
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Burundi declares epidemic of circulating poliovirus type 2 – AfriPubHealth




































Burundi has declared an epidemic of circulating poliovirus type 2 (PVDPV 2) after eight Poliovirus cases were confirmed on March 17. This is the first such detection in more than three decades. The detection of the virus is considered a national public health emergency by the government, which plans to launch a vaccination campaign in the coming weeks to protect all eligible children aged 0-7 years from the virus.

The cases were confirmed in a 4-year-old boy in Isale district who had not been vaccinated against polio, as well as two other children who were contacts of the 4-year-old boy. Additionally, five wastewater samples from environmental monitoring confirmed the presence of circulating poliovirus type 2.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said: “The detection of circulating poliovirus type 2 shows the effectiveness of disease surveillance in the country. “We support national efforts to increase polio vaccination rates so that no child is left behind and faced with the debilitating effects of polio. »

The most common form of poliovirus in Africa is circulating poliovirus type 2, and outbreaks of this type of poliovirus are the most common in the region, with more than 400 cases reported in 14 countries in 2022. The virus can occur when The weakened strain of the virus contained in the oral polio vaccine circulates among underimmunized populations for long periods of time.

Always on circulating poliovirus type 2 in Burundi…

With the help of WHO and Global Polio Eradication Initiative (IMEP), health officials also launched additional epidemiological investigations, including risk assessments, to determine the extent of the outbreak. Burundi is strengthening polio surveillance, with WHO experts on the ground supporting the collection of additional samples and assessing the feasibility of establishing new environmental surveillance sites to detect the silently circulating poliovirus.

Early detection of polio is critical to containing a potential outbreak, as acute flaccid paralysis is defined in children by the sudden onset of weakness or paralysis accompanied by decreased muscle tone.

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