The World Health Organization says a new polio outbreak in Sudan is linked to an ongoing vaccine-sparked epidemic in Chad — a week after the U.N. health agency declared the African continent free of the wild polio virus.
In a statement this week, WHO said two children in Sudan — one from South Darfur state and the other from Gedarif state, close to the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea — were paralyzed in March and April. Both had been recently vaccinated against polio. WHO said initial outbreak investigations show the cases are linked to an ongoing vaccine-derived outbreak in Chad that was first detected last year and is now spreading in Chad and Cameroon…
In rare instances, the live polio virus in the oral vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks.
…On Monday, WHO warned that the risk of further spread of the vaccine-derived polio across central Africa and the Horn of Africa was “high,” noting the large-scale population movements in the region.
New cases of polio linked to the oral vaccine have been reported in four African countries and more children are now being paralysed by vaccine-derived viruses than those infected by viruses in the wild, according to global health numbers.