Burundi declares polio outbreak, First cases reported in more than three decades


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the Global Health Organization (WHO) reported that Ministry of Justice An outbreak of circulating poliovirus type 2 (CVDPV 2) was declared today after eight polioviruses were confirmed, the first detection of its kind in more than three decades.


The cases were confirmed in a 4-year-old in Izale district of western Burundi who had not received any polio vaccination, as well as in two other children who had contact with the 4-year-old. In addition, five environmental monitoring samples of wastewater confirmed the presence of circulating poliovirus type 2.

The detection of circulating poliovirus type 2 shows the effectiveness of disease surveillance in the country. “Polio is highly contagious, and timely action is critical to protecting children through effective vaccination,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We support national efforts to ramp up polio vaccination to ensure that no child is lost and that no child is at risk of the debilitating impact of polio.”

Giant microbes

The Burundian government – which has declared the discovery of the virus a national public health emergency – plans to implement a polio vaccination campaign in the coming weeks, aiming to protect all eligible children (ages 0-7) from the virus.

Circulating poliovirus type 2 is the most common form of polio in Africa, and outbreaks of this type of poliovirus are the highest reported in the region, with more than 400 cases reported in 14 countries in 2022. Poliovirus infection can occur Disseminated polio type 2 when weakened. The virus strain found in the oral polio vaccine circulates among the unvaccinated population for long periods.

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