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Polio reported in Venezuela decades after it was thought to be eradicated

14 June 2018

The child is the first reported case of polio in the country since 1989, when the childhood illness was thought to have been wiped out. While most fully recover, in rare cases the disease can cause paralysis and death.

The organisation said that the child infected with the disease had no history of getting vaccinated for Polio and lives in an impoverished eastern state of Delta Amacuro.

Poliomyelitis, known as polio, is a highly infectious viral disease that invades the brain and spinal cord and causes permanent paralysis in a small proportion of patients, according to the World Health Organization.

The Pan-American Health Organisation said that due to the ongoing "economic war" prevailing in Venezuela, the 85 percent measles cases have been reported in Latin America as well as the Caribbean in the last one year.

Oletta added that the virus affects those people who live in conditions of malnutrition and are not vaccinated. The former Venezuelan Minister of Health claims that President Nicolas Maduro's current health officials took over a month to notify PAHO of the polio case, despite an worldwide rule requiring notice within 24 hours. Worldwide health regulations require it to do so within 24 hours.

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.

In neighbouring countries, where Venezuelans have migrated due to grim economic conditions, numerous reported cases have been among Venezuelan immigrants, the report said.

Of 1,685 measles cases reported in the region, 1,427 have been registered in Venezuela, says PAHO in a report released Saturday. Maduro's government blames U.S. sanctions for the woes.

Polio reported in Venezuela decades after it was thought to be eradicated