New Cases of Polio Detected in Nigeria

Two new cases of Polio have been discovered in Nigeria.

After two years without polio in the country, two cases of polio were found in the northeastern part of Nigeria, in Borno State, according to a recent press release. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a long history of collaborating with the Nigerian government. With an established CDC office in the country since 2001, the CDC aids in fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria and supports efforts by providing routine immunizations.

Polio, also short for poliomyelitis, is a deadly, infectious disease and most people who get it will not show symptoms, according to the CDC. Initial symptoms are fever, headache, and pain in the limbs. The virus is mainly transmitted through fecal matter or contaminated food and water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Nigerian polio surveillance system discovered these recent cases, yet, the instability of the security system in the area has had an impact on disease surveillance and vaccination efforts. "Confirmation of wild poliovirus in Nigeria is a disappointing setback but doesn’t change our determination to end polio." said the CDC, which collaboratively continues its efforts on the Global Eradication of Polio Initiative.

The efforts to eradicate polio in the country have also been supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The CDC states that it, "will continue to provide technical and scientific support as part of the Nigerian and global response to polio eradication."

In order to succeed, the CDC stated that there is a need for perseverance and commitment to the cause. These kinds of setbacks are a reminder to "redouble efforts to strengthen surveillance and immunization activities."

Setbacks include recent findings in the number of outbreaks. While Nigeria has been recognized by WHO for the eradication of the Wild Polio VirusType 1, these new outbreaks in recent months have been a cause for concern.