Malaysia launches vaccination campaign after 1st polio infection in 27 years

09 Décembre, 2019, 19:39 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which has no cure and can only be prevented with several doses of oral and injectable vaccinesMore

A three-month-old Malaysian baby has been determined to have polio, the main case detailed in the nation in nearly three decades, and a top wellbeing official said on Sunday. He added that the VDPV1 is classified as a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) type 1.

According to ChannelsTv, Mr Abdullah said the baby from Tuaran in Eastern Sabah State had been admitted into intensive care after experiencing fever and muscle weakness. The boy was confirmed to have been infected with polio on December 6, Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement. It can cause paralysis and, on rare occasions, can be fatal.

There is no cure for polio, which invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis in a matter of hours, but it can be prevented with vaccines. It is transmitted when faecal material from an infected individual enters the mouth of a healthy person through contaminated water or food.

The virus spreads rapidly among children, especially in unsanitary conditions in underdeveloped or war-torn regions where healthcare access is limited.

Malaysia is the second Asian country to have reported a polio case after an outbreak in the Philippines in September.

Malaysia was declared polio-free in 2000, after reporting its last known case of the disease in 1992.

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He added that up until Dec 5, investigations at the vicinity of the polio-infected child's residence found that 23 out of 199 people aged between two months until 15 years there have not received the polio vaccine. The Malaysia diagnosis is coming four months after the The Philippines, which shares a close sea border with Sabah, was hit by its first polio case after almost two decades. "There is a very high possibility of a rising trend", he warned.

Dr Noor Hisham said (cVDPV) type One can only be eradicated through immunisation and it is vital for every child in the community to be vaccinated.

Stressing on the urgency to ramp up vaccination activities and prevent further cases, he said, "To ensure that the poliovirus is not transmitted in Malaysia and causes poliomyelitis among those who are not immune to polio infection, polio immunization activities will be continued in the area of residence and expanded to other risky areas".

In recent years, Malaysia has faced a challenge to convince some parents to vaccinate their children.

According to Noor Hisham, tests conducted by the World Health Organization's Polio Regional Reference Laboratory in Melbourne showed that the virus detected in the Malaysian infant was genetically linked to the strain in the Philippines, which neighbours Borneo. This vaccine contains a live, attenuated (weakened) form of the virus. "Those who have been vaccinated will be protected from infection".

Noor Hisham said that fecal samples from the close contacts of the infected child and its surroundings had been collected in an attempt to detect the poliovirus. The longer the virus spreads in the community, it will undergo genetic mutation until it once again becomes an active virus.

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