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Portail des Droits des Personnes Handicapées en Afrique de l'Ouest




Africa : 200 new cases of polio in 2020

Several cases of polio from a vaccine strain have been detected in several African countries. Indeed, since the beginning of the year, around 200 cases of polio have been detected in Ethiopia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Sudan. This discovery comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday August 26, 2020, the end of the wild polio virus that causes several irreversible paralyzes in children. However, it is not the only cause for the transmission of the disease.

Several genetic tests have discovered new cases of polio. These are not due to the wild virus, which occurs naturally in the environment, but to a vaccine strain. According to WHO polio eradication program spokesperson Oliver Rosenbauer, “the wild strain no longer exists in Africa and the continent is now free of this strain but it is not entirely free from the polio because there is also what is called a vaccine-derived strain ”. The vaccine, which is made up of a harmless virus, can in rare cases change and then turn out to be virulent.

Three years to end polio
“We know this risk, quite low, which is quite associated with the use of the vaccine. So our goal is to end with the outbreaks that we are seeing of the vaccine strain and then stop the use of that vaccine to make sure Africa is free from all polio, ”added Oliver Rosenbauer. Note that the use of the vaccine, which is essential in the fight against wild polio virus, must therefore be called into question in the long term. Regarding the complete eradication of polio in Africa, it can be declared in a minimum of three years without a case of vaccine or wild polio

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