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Wild Poliovirus Type 1: Important Points

Mozambique Identified First Case Of Wild Poliovirus Type 1:

Mozambique has identified its first case of wild poliovirus Type 1 this week after a child contracted the disease.

  • It is the country’s first such case since 1992 and the second imported case of wild poliovirus in Southern Africa this year.
  • An outbreak was reported in Malawi earlier this year.
  • As of today, wild poliovirus is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) defines polio or poliomyelitis as “a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.”
  • The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  • There are three variants of the poliovirus, numbered 1 to 3.
  • For a country to be declared polio-free, the wild transmission of all three kinds has to be stopped. For eradication, cases of both wild and vaccine-derived polio infection have to be reduced to zero.
  • India was declared polio-free in January 2014, after three years of zero cases, an achievement that is widely believed to have been spurred by the successful Pulse Polio campaign.