Mozambique has become the second African nation to observe wild poliovirus infection this year, after verifying that a child who started experiencing numbness in March had got the virus.

In February, Malawi, a bordering country, confirmed Africa’s index case of wild polio in over 5 years.

Both cases were connected to a strain of poliovirus that spread in Pakistan in 2019. Since the cases are deemed imported, Africa will retain its polio-free status, which it attained in 2020 after a four-year period without a domestically transferred case.

“The discovery of a new infection of wild poliovirus in Africa is truly disturbing, even though it comes as no surprise considering the recent infection in Malawi.” However, it demonstrates how risky this virus is and how fast it can propagate,” said Matshidiso Moeti, MD, MPH, WHO’s regional director for Africa.

WHO, according to Moeti, is going to support massive vaccination campaigns in the region’s nations. In response to the Malawi infection, Mozambique lately immunized 4.2 million children, according to WHO.

Even though incidents of propagating vaccine-derived poliovirus still happen in other nations, including Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two nations where polio remains endemic.

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