The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that Burundian health officials have confirmed eight cases of polio virus, marking the first outbreak of the virus in the country in three decades.
The confirmed cases include a four-year-old child that had not been vaccinated against the disease and two other children that came in contact with him in the Isale region of Western Burundi. Also, five samples of environmental monitoring of wastewater have confirmed the presence of poliovirus type II.
The outbreak points out the risks associated with low vaccination rates, as the weakened strain of the virus contained in the oral polio vaccine can transmit among populations that have not been immunized for a long time.
The WHO has expressed concern about the possibility of the virus spreading further and has asked for immediate action to curb the outbreak through a comprehensive vaccination campaign.
Also, the Burundian government has been urged to strengthen its surveillance and monitoring systems to detect further cases of polio.
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