The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, has announced 395 new cases of Circulating Mutant Poliovirus Type 2, CMPV2, across 27 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
This, however, comes approximately 16 months after the World Health Organisation, WHO certified Nigeria as wild poliovirus free after the country reported its last case of the wild poliovirus in 2016.
In a press statement, the NPHCDA Executive Director, Faisal Shuaib said, “We currently have 395 cases of Circulating Mutant Poliovirus Type 2 (across 27 states and the FCT. Nigeria and the African region were certified Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free in 2020, following a rigorous verification and certification process by the African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication which spanned three years of no detection of WPV”.
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Here are notable things to know about the Poliovirus Type 2
- Polioviruses (WPV) are classified into three categories – type 1, type 2, and type 3.
- Poliovirus type 2 was declared eradicated in September 2015, with the last outbreak occurring in India in 1999. However, it has been reported that it has a higher mutation rate than viruses like HIV
- The best protection against the virus is the polio vaccination. It is prevented by two vaccines: the oral polio vaccine and the inactivated poliovirus vaccine.
- What Nigeria is currently battling is the vaccine-derived poliovirus. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, says it is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus.
- The wild type 2 poliovirus hasn’t been observed for more than 20 years, but in 2000 scientists identified mutant viruses derived from the type 2 polio vaccine (OPV2) as the cause of a few paralytic polio cases. However, it has remained endemic in northern Nigeria.
- People who are not currently vaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions (e.g sneeze) of infected people are more likely to contract it.
- CMPV2 outbreaks are caused by immunity gaps in children due to several reasons, including low routine immunization coverage, and missing children during immunization campaigns”
- The viruses are more prevalent in areas where sanitation is poor, people defecate in open areas, and clean water is not available. As a result, contaminated water and poor sewage disposal have made it easier for the virus to spread from person to person.
- These viruses may cause paralysis in some cases.
- There is no clinical difference between the paralysis caused by wild poliovirus, OPV, or VDPV.