Angola discovers first polio case in four years

The UN health agency said today that a case of polio has been found in Angola, the first discovered in the country in four years.

The UN health agency said today that a case of polio has been found in Angola, the first discovered in the country in four years.

“It’s a polio case genetically linked to a virus circulating in India,” Oliver Rosenbauer, spokesman for the World Health Organisation’spolio eradication initiative said.

Rosenbauer said the Angolan Ministry of Health contacted WHO last month after a 17-year-old girl developed paralysis in both legs.

An investigation has begun to determine how the girl, who lives in the Angolan capital of Luanda, contracted the disease, he said.

“The genetic analysis is conclusive,” Rosenbauer said. “It is not linked to the cases in the West African outbreak that came from Nigeria and infected Yemen and Indonesia.

“There’s a case investigation going on to see if the family or neighbours have travelled to India.”

A national immunisation campaign has already being organised for the end of the month, because Angola felt it was at risk of importing the disease from its African neighbours, Rosenbauer said. A second round now is being planned for August, he said.

There had not been a case of polio diagnosed in Angola since September 2001, he said.

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