New cases of polio virus have been officially confirmed in Papua New Guinea as of Tuesday, June 26, as country authorities and UN officials announced an outbreak of the virus. The first case was reported on April 28 in Morobe province, where three cases have been registered as of June 26. No other region is currently being impacted by the virus.
Papua New Guinea has maintained a polio-free status since 2000. According to local authorities the polio vaccination rate in Morobe province is particularly low.
Poliomyelitis is an acute communicable disease caused by a human enterovirus of the Picornaviridae family. Poliovirus is transmitted from one person to another by oral contact with secretions or fecal material from an infected person. Most poliovirus infections cause asymptomatic viral replication that is limited to the alimentary tract. However, following an incubation period of approximately 7–10 days (although it can range 4–35 days), about 24 percent of those infected develop clinical signs such as fever, headache, and sore throat (considered a minor illness).
Individuals in Papua New Guinea are advised to verify their vaccination status and monitor developments to the situation.
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