It is the first case of polio in the region since 2011. The patient is a child from Guinea who contracted the virus linked to strain used in polio vaccines. The child was sent to Mali to receive treatment.
Health officials maintain that the child may not have contracted the disease specifically from receiving vaccinations. It is only proven that the polio strain that infected the child is the same as that contained in the vaccine.
Because polio virus is so contagious, health officials consider even one case as serious. As of today, Mali’s current polio vaccination rate stands at 80 percent. Despite this, WHO officials have started a new vaccination campaign to guarantee that the region has 100 percent coverage from polio. UNICEF as well as WHO will also conduct the same campaign in Guinea.
Polio is an infectious disease that is spread when feces infected with the virus passes through a person’s mouth. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, headache, neck stiffness, diarrhea and pains in the legs and arms. Most people who contract polio do not experience any symptoms or they feel healthy again within a week or two. Some cases, approximately 0.5 percent, result in paralysis.