Polio is making a comeback in Venezuela

Image  Robert Herriman

It is suspected that these are cases of circulating polio virus (cVDPV) but it has yet to be confirmed.

Delta Amacuro, the state where the case of polio was discovered, is home to the Warao communities, an indigenous group that lives in riverside huts on Venezuela's Orinoco Delta.

Polio, or also known as poliomyelitis, is a childhood disease which is caused due to the poliovirus and can be prevented via immunisation.

"The virus especially affects people in conditions of malnutrition and unvaccinated, as in this case", added Dr. Jose Felix Oletta, the country's former Minister of Health.

He criticized officials in the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for waiting more than a month to notify PAHO. Worldwide regulations provide for a 24-hour period to notify of the detection of such a case.

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Devastated by a serious economic and political crisis, Venezuela also recorded previous year 85% of measles cases in all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, according to PAHO.

Of the 11 countries that reported cases, Venezuela had the overwhelming majority of cases, but also 35 deaths since mid-2017, the global organization said.

As per the report, most of the neighbouring states, where people from Venezuela have migrated due to the political and social crisis, have also reported cases of polio among the Venezuelan immigrants.

Venezuela says it does not have 85 percent of the basic medical supplies it needs even including vaccines. The U.S. government issued a warning for all American citizens to leave the area last July.

The news comes in as the Venezuela faces an intensive growth in other disease, such as tuberculosis, measles, malaria and diphtheria which were earlier eradicated just like Polio.

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