Zambia reports first polio case in 24yrs after vaccination gone wrong

Zambia reports first polio case in 24yrs after vaccination gone wrong

Zambia has reported its first local case of polio since 1995.

A 2 year old boy was paralyzed by a virus derived from the vaccine, VOA reported on Wdnesday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated in a report that the case was detected at the Congo border.

The area has since reported 37 cases of polio traced to the vaccine this year.

However, the UN health agency said there is no established link between Zambia case and  the ongoing Congo outbreak of polio.

WHO affirmed increased surveillance and vaccination efforts are needed, warning that “there is a potential for international spread.”

In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks.

The global effort to eradicate polio was launched in 1988 and originally aimed to wipe out the potentially fatal disease by 2000.

While cases have dropped dramatically, the virus remains stubbornly entrenched in parts of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

This year alone, there have been 72 cases of polio in Pakistan after only eight in 2018.

On Thursday, the U.N. said Nigeria, a third polio-endemic country, has gone three years without a reported infection, placing it on track to be certified polio-free by 2020.

“Following the eradication of smallpox and wild poliovirus type two, this news represents a historic achievement for humanity”, WHO said, with only type one of the virus remaining.