WHO reports first wild polio outbreak in Africa in years

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 In Africa, the landlocked country of Malawi has reported the first wild polio outbreak on the continent in several years.

The wild type 1 poliovirus was discovered in a child in the city of Lilongwe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Friday.

Laboratory tests had shown that it had apparently been brought in from Pakistan, it said.

“As long as wild polio exists anywhere in the world all countries remain at risk of importation of the virus,” said WHO regional director Matshidiso Moeti.

The organisation will support local health authorities in the south-east African country to ensure that the case remains isolated and does not spread, she said.

Polio is a contagious infectious disease and can cause paralysis and death.

Except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, all countries in the world had beaten the wild polioviruses.

In Africa, the last case was registered in Nigeria in 2016. (dpa/NAN)