Polio is making a comeback in Venezuela

Polio is making a comeback in Venezuela

Polio, which can only be prevented through immunization, has been found again in a Venezuelan child according to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). While most fully recover, in rare cases the disease can cause paralysis and death.

"The virus especially affects people in conditions of malnutrition and unvaccinated, as this case", said Doctor Jose Felix Oletta, a former Minister of Health. Part of an indigenous community in Venezuela's northeastern state of Delta Amacuro, the child had not been vaccinated against polio, the statement noted. Local health authorities took more than a month to notify the PAHO that they had identified a case of polio, although worldwide health regulations require them to do so within 24 hours. Global health regulations require it to do so within 24 hours.

Devastated by a serious economic and political crisis, Venezuela also recorded past year 85% of measles cases in all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, according to PAHO.

Of the 11 countries that reported cases, Venezuela had the overwhelming majority of cases, but also 35 deaths since mid-2017, the worldwide organization said.

As per the report, most of the neighbouring states, where people from Venezuela have migrated due to the political and social crisis, have also reported cases of polio among the Venezuelan immigrants.

The diagnosis comes as Venezuela, with an estimated population of 31.3 million, experiences political and economic turmoil, resulting in a humanitarian and health care crisis.

Even though the government conducted a vaccination campaign on April 6 to curb 14 disease which includes measles and tuberculosis, the critics say that not a fair amount of vaccines are arriving to meet the demand.

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