Polio Returns To Venezuela 30 Years After Last Known Case, Report Says

14 June, 2018, 08:49 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Measles which is highly contagious can be prevented with vaccines but it is on the rise in Venezuela- which also reports a polio case

A deadly and highly infectious disease that was thought to be eradicated has returned to Venezuela.

A case of polio has been reported in Venezuela, a country facing a severe economic and political crisis, decades after the eradication of the disease in that country, said the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Polio has reportedly made a comeback in the crisis-wracked country, Venezuela after almost 30 years, as per the Pan-American Health Organisation.

"The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestines", according to PAHO.

Symptoms include high temperature, sore throats, headaches, migraines, and vomiting. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of many people who were paralyzed by the disease in the 20th Century.


Doctor Jose Felix Oletta, a former Minister of Health, told AFP that the last case of acute poliomyelitis in Venezuela was reported in 1989. Local health authorities took more than a month to notify the PAHO that they had identified a case of polio, although worldwide health regulations require them to do so within 24 hours.

In neighbouring countries, where Venezuelans have migrated due to grim economic conditions, numerous reported cases have been among Venezuelan immigrants, the report said. "This situation is unfortunate but we saw it coming, because we've been denouncing for years that there are not enough vaccines", Manuela Bolivar of Venezuela's opposition party said, via The Telegraph.

According to the PAHO, the case of polio was discovered among an isolated and impoverished indigenous group.

Out of the other 11 countries to have reported Polio cases, Venezuela not only stood at top most position with majority cases but has also recorded 35 death cases due to the disease since mid 2017, said the organisation.

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