First case of Polio in Africa

Tags: International News

The African country of Malawi has declared a wild polio outbreak after a case was identified in a three-year-old girl. This is the first case of wild polio in Africa for more than five years.

  • The continent was declared free of all forms of wild polio in 2020. For a country to be certified polio-free, it must have had no wild polio cases for three consecutive years.

  • Only two countries in the world have wild polio strains, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • The strain detected in Malawi is linked to the one found in Pakistan. 

There will be no change in the status of Africa as a polio free continent because this was an imported case where the virus was brought from Pakistan.

 Know about  Polio:  

  • Polio is a highly transmissible virus most often spread via the stool of an infected person, usually through contaminated water or food. It can also be spread via oral or nasal secretions. 

  • The virus mainly affects children under five years of age.

  • There is no cure for the symptoms of polio.

Polio  Vaccine 

There are two types of Polio Vaccines, IPV and OPV 

  • IPV or Inactivated Polio Vaccine  

The first inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) was developed by American scientist  Jonas  Salk using a  dead virus  in 1953.

  • OPV or Oral Polio Vaccine 

It was developed by Polish American scientist Albert Sabin. He used a weakened live polio virus to produce a vaccine.


  • It is a landlocked country in South East Africa . It was earlier called Nyasaland.

  • Capital: Lilongwe

  • Currency :Malawian kwacha

  • President: Lazarus Chakwera 

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