MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Polio outbreak confirmed in Somalia and Kenya

Confirmed cases of wild polio Somalia and Kenya were recently reported to the international community.

Polio, also known as poliomyelitis, is an acute viral infectious disease that comes in a variety of strands and is spread from person to person by fecal matter passing orally into the mouth. Of the people who are infected with polio, 90 percent show no symptoms. For those who do show symptoms, they are affected in a severe manner, which can include paralysis in the legs.

There is currently no cure for polio, but it can be prevented through vaccination. Children under the age of five who are given the oral polio vaccine are protected from the wild polio virus.

There were originally 14 cases of the polio virus reported in Somalia, with two other cases coming from Kenya. This new case causes a new spark of concern in the global community.

A recent case, which was found in Mogadishu, Somalia and was reported on May 9, is cause for new concern. Experts said that the original cases could result in a spread of the virus to neighboring countries like Kenya. Polio will remain a risk to neighboring countries and to anyone in Somalia who is no vaccinated.