By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In Ukraine, a case of polio was recorded and confirmed in a 1.5-year-old child from Rivne Oblast. The disease is caused by a derivative of the vaccine strain of polioviruses type 2 (circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (Sabin 2), according to the Ministry of Health. The parents deliberately refused medical vaccinations because of their religious beliefs.


The first symptoms appeared on September 1, on September 3 the child was hospitalized with symptoms of paresis of the lower extremities. The system of health care and epidemiological surveillance immediately worked according to the protocol and international standards: the case was registered as a suspicion of polio – acute flaccid paralysis and provided the necessary examination and surveillance to clarify the circumstances. A team of epidemiologists and virologists of the National Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine is already working in the region. They carry out priority work to respond to the epidemic threat: search for contact persons, collection and analysis of their biomaterials, detailed study of the circumstances of the case, etc.

Polio is an acute infectious disease. The poliovirus spreads from person to person through feces and saliva, most often through dirty hands, infected food and water.

Every unvaccinated child and adult can get polio. But children under the age of five are most susceptible to the polio virus. Therefore, children receive the first vaccination in the first months of life.

Symptoms: in most cases, the disease first goes unnoticed, which worsens the patient’s chances of recovery, then there are signs that are different in nature, depending on the form of the virus. The incubation period of the disease is 2–35 days, more often 7–14 days.

The following types of disease are classified: with lesions of the central nervous system (CNS) and without its defeat. It should be noted that even atypical poliomyelitis (without lesions of the CNR) can be very harmful to the patient.

All of them pose a significant threat to the unvaccinated person and cause irreversible processes that can lead to the death of the patient.

The polio outbreak in Tajikistan has been going on since November 2020, and additional rounds of immunization of the entire child population are currently underway. The circulation of wild polio virus in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues to be recorded.

You can read more about polio on the Public Health Center’s website .

The level of polio vaccination coverage (children under 1 year, polio-3) in 2021 is insufficient, for 8 months of 2021 – 53.0%. At this rate, by the end of the year without taking additional measures to achieve the required level of collective immunity of 95% will not succeed.

Low levels in the following regions of Ukraine: in Kherson – 40.7%, Ivano-Frankivsk – 42.2%, Transcarpathian – 43.1%, Zaporozhye – 46.2%, Kharkiv – 46.5%, in Odessa and Kyiv regions – 47.5%. In Chernivtsi and Lviv – 48.5%, in Rivne – 48.9%.

Ukraine has a sufficient number of effective vaccines that are purchased from the state budget.

In 2015, Ukraine took the path of eliminating the polio outbreak, the measures lasted more than 2 years.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine calls on the heads of regions to analyze the implementation of preventive vaccinations in subordinate territories, including polio, and instruct the heads of health departments to develop measures to increase the coverage of preventive vaccinations provided by the Vaccination Calendar and personally keep performance under control.

Where, when and who should be vaccinated?

It is necessary to be vaccinated against polio from the birth of a baby. Vaccination must be carried out comprehensively, without missing any to increase the body’s resistance to the disease.

  • 1 dose – 2 months of the child’s life.
  • 2nd dose – 4 months.
  • 3rd dose – 6 months.
  • 4th dose – 18 months.
  • 5th dose – 6 years.
  • 6 dose – 14 years.

Free polio vaccination is provided by your family doctor or pediatrician at public health facilities, as well as private ones that have entered into agreements with the National Health Service of Ukraine.

The only way to protect yourself and your children from the effects of this disease is vaccination, as there is no specific treatment. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine recommends reading the calendar of preventive vaccinations here.

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