Nigeria detects re-emergence of poliovirus in northern state

UNICEF health consultant Hadiza Waya (R) tries to immunise a child during vaccination campaign against polio at Hotoro-Kudu, Nassarawa district of Kano in northwest Nigeria, on April 22, 2017. The World Health Organization said116 million children are to receive polio vaccines in 13 countries in west and central Africa as part of efforts to eradicate the disease on the continent. "The synchronised vaccination campaign, one of the largest of its kind ever implemented in Africa, is part of urgent measures to permanently stop polio on the continent," the WHO said. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
UNICEF health consultant Hadiza Waya (R) tries to immunize a child during a vaccination campaign against polio in northwest Nigeria./Getty Images

A case of the Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus (VDPV) type 2 was detected in Nigeria’s northern state of Adamawa, marking the re-emergence of the poliovirus, local authorities said Saturday.

The new case was detected one year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria a polio-free nation.

Abdullahi Isa, health and human services commissioner in Adamawa, who confirmed the new case during the flag-off of a first-round outbreak response immunization against polio in the state, did not say when exactly the polio case was detected.

Isa described the VDPV as “a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus.”

The new case, which has resurfaced, makes the outbreak of the transmitted virus possible, he said.

“The resurface of the poliovirus type 2 necessitated the immediate flag-off of the first round outbreak response for the OPV,” Isa said.

About 800 health personnel have been trained as vaccinators in the ongoing immunization campaign against poliovirus in Adamawa, with support from WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund, among others.

Around 1 million children below five years old are targeted in the outbreak response vaccination campaign across the state.

“WHO is working hand in hand with the state government to ensure total eradication of the virus and to ensure every eligible child is vaccinated against polio,” said Iyobosa Igbinovia, the WHO coordinator in Adamawa. Enditem

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