PNG polio outbreak

This item appears on page 15 of the August 2018 issue.
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A 6-year-old child in Morobe Province in northern Papua New Guinea was diagnosed with polio in April 2018. Subsequent testing found that the virus had infected at least two other children, who were showing no symptoms, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare an outbreak in the country.

Polio had been considered eradicated in Papua New Guinea, as the last case there was reported 18 years ago. Because of the community’s isolation and vaccination efforts, WHO considers the risk of the virus spreading to other areas to be low. Polio is transmitted via saliva and feces. It is not known where the virus was contracted in this case.

Polio is nearly extinct. In 2018, the virus was endemic to only three countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only 20 cases, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, were reported in 2017.

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A 6-year-old child in Morobe Province in northern Papua New Guinea was diagnosed with polio in April 2018. Subsequent testing found that the virus had infected at least two other children, who were showing no symptoms, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare an outbreak in the country.

Polio had been considered eradicated in Papua New Guinea, as the last case there was reported 18 years ago. Because of the community’s isolation and vaccination efforts, WHO considers the risk of the virus spreading to other areas to be low. Polio is transmitted via saliva and feces. It is not known where the virus was contracted in this case.

Polio is nearly extinct. In 2018, the virus was endemic to only three countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only 20 cases, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, were reported in 2017.