By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

Malaysia health officials are reporting a confirmed polio case in a three-month-old boy from Tuaran, Sabah who had a fever followed by a weak limb and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital.

He was confirmed to be infected with the vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (VDPV1) on December 6, 2019.

According to a validation test conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Polio Regional Laboratory in Australia, the virus is linked to the polio virus detected in the Philippines.

This is the polio case reported in Malaysia since 1992. Malaysia was declared polio-free in 2000.

The patient is currently being treated in an isolation ward and is in stable condition but still needs respiratory assistance.

As of December 5, 2019, a survey of polio-infected children in Sabah has found that 23 out of 199 (11.6%) people between the two (2) months of age to 15 years did not receive polio vaccine. This is a very troubling situation as the spread of cVPDV infection can only be terminated by polio immunization. In light of the importance of polio immunization in preventing polio infection, the parents of all the children agreed to be given polio vaccine.

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What is a vaccine-derived poliovirus?

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative says Vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) are rare strains of poliovirus that have genetically mutated from the strain contained in the oral polio vaccine.

The oral polio vaccine contains a live, attenuated (weakened) vaccine-virus. When a child is vaccinated, the weakened vaccine-virus replicates in the intestine and enters into the bloodstream, triggering a protective immune response in the child. Like wild poliovirus, the child excretes the vaccine-virus for a period of six to eight weeks. Importantly, as it is excreted, some of the vaccine-virus may no longer be the same as the original vaccine-virus as it has genetically altered during replication. This is called a vaccine-derived poliovirus.

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