A third case of wild polio virus (WPV) was confirmed yesterday in Borno State.
This is coming three weeks after separate cases of the disease that affected two children from Gwoza and Jere Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state.
Nigeria had hoped to be certified a Polio-free Nation by the World Health organisation (WHO) in 2017.
Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which affects mostly young children and can result in permanent paralysis. It has no cure and can only be checked through immunisation.
Confirming the case yesterday , Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said that the third case was discovered in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State.
He said a two year old boy with no vaccination history tested positive to the virus, adding that Monguno houses one of the largest Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in the state.
“Our current outbreak response will cover this. We shall have no cause to take any additional measure,” he said.
Following the two cases in August, Adewole had said the detection of children paralyzed by polio was also a reminder that the country needs to remain vigilant and immunize all eligible children with polio vaccine until the disease is completely eradicated worldwide.
The minister had directed the deployment of a national emergency response team, comprising government and partners to Borno State for immediate polio vaccination campaign, targeting eligible children to prevent the spread of the virus locally and internationally.
He had said as an immediate response, about one million children are to be immunized in four local government areas in Borno State. Children in adjoining states of Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe will also be immunized bringing the number to about five million in the four states.
Spokesperson for Rotary International, which is working with the Nigerian
government to eradicate polio said the three cases appear to come from the same strain of the virus circulating in the northeast for years.
He said the latest case was a two-year-old boy suffering from the onset of paralysis on August 6 in the Monguno area.
He said: “Genetic sequencing of the isolated viruses suggests they are most closely
linked to WPV1 last detected in Borno in 2011, indicating the strain has
been circulating without detection since that time.”
Also the World Health Organization (WHO) in a statement said the case of the third child paralyzed by wild poliovirus type one (WPV1) in Borno State is linked to the same outbreak.
“Detection of new cases is not unexpected and can be anticipated, particularly as
disease surveillance is being strengthened including by conducting retrospective case searches,” WHO said.
The organization said that insurgency had militated against effective immunization of children in the North -East region.
WHO also warns that cases of affected children may increase in the coming weeks and months.
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