Venezuela hit by first case of polio in 30 years
The polio virus has made a comeback in impoverished Venezuela, infecting a young girl in the Delta Amacuro state for the first time since 1989.
VENEZUELA — A young child is reportedly afflicted with polio in Venezuela — the first reported case of the crippling disease since it's eradication in the country in 1989.
The Telegraph reports that according to the Pan-American Health Organization, the child lived in an impoverished indigenous community in the Delta Amacuro state.
According to the CDC, poliomyelitis, or polio, is caused by the poliovirus, which enters through the mouth via contact with contaminated feces, or through droplets from a cough or sneeze.
The virus multiplies in small intestine, before being carried through the bloodstream to the central nervous system, where it destroys motor neuron cells.
The majority of infected don't get sick, while one in four develop non-paralytic polio with flu-like symptoms. Paralytic polio, though rare, can lead to muscle pain, paralysis, and even death.
In some cases, those who contracted and fully recovered from the disease as kids can develop symptoms years later as adults.
Young children, especially those who are malnourished an unvaccinated, are especially susceptible to polio. The disease has no cure, but is preventable through immunization.
Venezuela has been plagued with economic and political crises in recent years. Local health authorities who were supposed to report cases of polio within 24 hours, took more than a month to do so.
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