WHO confirms polio virus in Kenya

Written By: Adan Mohammed

The World Health Organization has confirmed the latest polio virus in the country.

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A patient from Eastleigh Kamukunji in Nairobi was diagnosed with the virus early last month with reports indicating that he might have contracted the disease from a leaking sewage around the area.

The latest case comes as WHO calls on the country to provide information on surveillance on high risk and mobile population for purposes of sustained tracking of virus.

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Horn of Africa WHO Technical Advisory Group says the organization is taking drastic measures to ensure the virus is contained.

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Based on the latest reported case WHO now wants the country to review and make recommendation on its surveillance to high risk and mobile population, provide risk mitigation strategies.

It is also calling on the country to plan for strengthening basic immunization services and focus on building and sustaining demand for immunization particularly in the high risk groups.

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Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus and is transmitted through contaminated water or food, or contact with an infected person.

The virus spreads from person to person and can attack an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis, a condition in which a person cannot move parts of the body.

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Kenya has continued with routine polio immunisation and mop-up campaigns, even though no single case has been reported since 2013.

According to the Health ministry, over the past four years at least 10 million Kenyan children have received multiple doses of vaccine under the guidance of the country’s Polio Outbreak Preparedness and Response Plan.


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