Polio Returns To Venezuela 30 Years After Last Known Case, Report Says

Leslie Hanson
June 14, 2018

The Venezuelan child with polio is 2 years and 10 months old and first experienced paralysis on April 29, according to the PAHO statement.

A child has been diagnosed with polio in Venezuela, where the infectious viral disease has been eradicated since 1989, according to the Pan American Health Organization, a regional apparatus of the World Health Organization.

Polio, or also known as poliomyelitis, is a childhood disease which is caused due to the poliovirus and can be prevented via immunisation.

"The virus especially affects people in conditions of malnutrition and unvaccinated, as in this case", added Dr. Jose Felix Oletta, the country's former Minister of Health.

Delta Amacuro, the state where the case of polio was discovered, is home to the Warao communities, an indigenous group that lives in riverside huts on Venezuela's Orinoco Delta. Local health authorities took more than a month to notify the PAHO that they had identified a case of polio, although global health regulations require them to do so within 24 hours. Global regulations provide for a 24-hour period to notify of the detection of such a case.

Out of the other 11 countries to have reported Polio cases, Venezuela not only stood at top most position with majority cases but has also recorded 35 death cases due to the disease since mid 2017, said the organisation.

Of the 11 countries that reported cases, Venezuela had the overwhelming majority of cases, but also 35 deaths since mid-2017, the global organization said.

More specifically, "there were eleven countries that reported 1,685 confirmed measles cases across the region", of which 1,427 were in Venezuela, a PAHO report released Saturday found.

As Venezuela continues to face worsening economic as well as political crisis, the government has struggled investing money to provide basic medicines, food as well as vaccines to its people. Maduro's government blames United States sanctions for the woes.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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