WHO certifies Gabon as polio-free
The World Health Organization has declared Gabon a “polio-free country”, given the lack of new reported or suspected cases in the central African country.
UN health agency has recommended taking necessary steps to continue monitoring for possible signs of the disease.
Most people who get infected with poliovirus (about 72 out of 100) will not have any visible symptoms.
About 1 out of 4 people with poliovirus infection will have flu-like symptoms that may include—
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
These symptoms usually last 2 to 5 days then go away on their own.
Poliomyelitis is highly contagious via the fecal-oral (intestinal source) and the oral-oral (oropharyngeal source) routes.
In endemic areas, wild polioviruses can infect virtually the entire human population.It is seasonal in temperate climates, with peak transmission occurring in summer and autumn.
These seasonal differences are far less pronounced in tropical areas.The time between first exposure and first symptoms, known as the incubation period, is usually 6 to 20 days, with a maximum range of 3 to 35 days.
Paralytic poliomyelitis may be clinically suspected in individuals experiencing acute onset of flaccid paralysis in one or more limbs with decreased or absent tendon reflexes in the affected limbs that cannot be attributed to another apparent cause, and without sensory or cognitive loss.
A laboratory diagnosis is usually made based on recovery of poliovirus from a stool sample or a swab of the pharynx. Antibodies to poliovirus can be diagnostic, and are generally detected in the blood of infected patients early in the course of infection.
Polio vaccine protects children by preparing their bodies to fight the polio virus. Almost all children (99 children out of 100) who get all the recommended doses of vaccine will be protected from polio.
There are two types of vaccine that can prevent polio: inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) and oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). Only IPV has been used in the United States since 2000; OPV is still used throughout much of the world.