Another African Country Declares Poliovirus Outbreak
The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that after three decades, authorities in the Republic of Burundi declared an outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses - type 2 (CVDPV 2) after confirming eight polioviruses.
Circulating poliovirus type 2 infection can occur when the weakened strain of the virus in the oral polio vaccine spreads among under-immunized populations for long periods.
Additionally, five samples from environmental surveillance of wastewater confirmed the presence of the circulating poliovirus type 2.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, commented in a press release on March 17, 2023, "We are supporting the national efforts to ramp up polio vaccination to ensure that no child is missed and faces no risk of polio's debilitating impact."
Burundi's government declared the detection of the poliovirus a national public health emergency and planned to implement a vaccination campaign for eligible children.
Burundi is a landlocked African country, a historical kingdom, and one of the few countries whose borders were not determined by colonial rulers, reports Britannica.
The WHO says polio is a vaccine-preventable disease.
Circulating poliovirus type 2 is the most prevalent form of polio in Africa.
More than 400 cases were reported in 14 countries in 2022.
International travelers were alerted to this and other polio outbreaks when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reissued its Global Polio travel alert in March 2023.