Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Polio Mutation Creates New Infectious Outbreaks

Polio vaccinations administered in Karachi, Pakistan, in June. Wild polio virus is still endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan.          Over the past year there has been around 157 infections caused by mutations in viruses. More children are becoming ill due to these counterparts of diseases such as polio, than the original wild type virus. Nine new cases have been observed in Northern Africa alone. The cause is an oral polio vaccine that has mutated into a new infectious form. Other countries in Africa and some in Asia have also been experiencing the same issues with their vaccinations, as they are mutating very quickly into dozens of new strains of infections. A strain was found, last month, in the Philippines "the country’s first case of the disease in more than 25 years" (NPR).
          Global leaders recently met last week to discuss the tactics needed to fight these vaccination outbreaks. Africa and Asia are using the live version of the vaccine because it is cheaper but it is obviously threatening many lives and another global infection. They shared that "most parts of the world are vaccinating against the original vaccine". This is an interesting yet very important meeting because of the fact that polio has been "cured" already, yet is mutating at an alarming and deleterious rate.
           If these outbreaks spread or multiply more they could reach father parts of the globe other than just Africa. It is imperative that Africa get proper healthcare on all levels as well because of things like this that can occur. One poor group using cheaper medical equipment can lead to hundreds of mutations and infectious diseases that could spread and mutate so rapidly they affect us all. 

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