Uganda detects circulating vaccine-derived polio virus


Polio is an infectious disease that mostly affects children under the age of five and this is not a caution

Uganda today confirmed the detection of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in samples taken from wastewater plants in Kampala, something health authorities associate with reduced immunization due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The virus that was detected has links to the cVDPV2 strain registered in Sudan,” the Ugandan Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday, although no cases of the disease have been reported.

According to the Ugandan government, the resurgence of polio in the country is linked to the reduction in vaccination due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic and outbreaks in other countries in the region.

“Continuous cross-border movements between our neighboring countries and countries in the Horn of Africa currently affected by cVDPV outbreaks pose additional risks for polio imports,” says the letter from the ministry.

In response to this discovery, Uganda will increase surveillance for potential cases of polio and will also increase vaccination efforts.

Uganda was declared free of wild polio in 2006 and the entire African continent received the same certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) a year earlier, after Nigeria, the last country left to reach the target, was declared free of wild polio.

Despite this, in recent months, about two dozen African countries have detected strains of cVDPV, such as Kenya, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

These outbreaks, which are very rare according to the World Health Organization, are due to the fact that the oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains an attenuated vaccine virus that can undergo genetic changes that give it the ability to cause paralysis, thus creating the so-called circulating poliovirus vaccine (cVDPV) .

They occur only in environments with poor immunization of the population and poor sanitation, where remnants of the oral vaccine remain in secretions and the virus is transformed, despite the extreme vulnerability.

Cases of polio resulting from vaccination, in spite of everything, are also dangerous, and the best way to combat it, according to the World Health Organization, is precisely to ensure that the entire population is immunized against the virus.

Polio is a contagious disease that mainly affects children under the age of five for which there is no cure.

Its symptoms include fever, fatigue, vomiting, headache, and in some cases it can cause paralysis of the extremities.

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