Polio – Malawi
One polio case has been confirmed in February in Malawi. This is the first case in thirty years.
A 3-year-old girl was paralyzed by wild poliovirus in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Vaccination campaigns are held which are aiming to target over 20 million children in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania by July. Children who have been vaccinated before also need to be vaccinated in order to get fully immunized.
Photo: Polio virus, colorized.
Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease caused by a virus. In about 0.5 percent of cases, it moves from the gut to affect the central nervous system and there is muscle weakness. Many people fully recover. However, years after recovery, post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to that which the person had during the initial infection.
The disease is preventable with the polio vaccine; however, multiple doses are required for it to be effective.
Poliomyelitis has existed for thousands of years, with depictions of the disease in ancient art. The disease was first recognized as a distinct condition by the English physician Michael Underwood in 1789 and the virus that causes it was first identified in 1909 by the Austrian immunologist Karl Landsteiner. The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s.
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