WHO: No New Polio Cases in Africa for a Full Year
The continent appears to be on its way to becoming polio-free, according to the UN agency.
Aug. 11, 2015, marks one year since the last wild polio case was detected on the entire African continent, the World Health Organization reported, adding, "A polio-free Africa would leave only 2 countries where polio transmission has never been interrupted: Pakistan and Afghanistan."
The last wild polio case was reported in Somalia on Aug. 11, 2014. And Nigeria, which was the last endemic country in the African region, marked one year without a case of wild polio on July 24, 2015. "If continued lab results in the coming weeks confirm no new cases in Nigeria, and if the WHO African Region then goes 2 more years without a case of wild polio in the face of strong surveillance, it could be certified polio-free by the Africa Regional Certification Commission," according to WHO.
In addition, an assessment team in June 2015 concluded that transmission in Kenya and Ethiopia has been interrupted. "Undetected low level transmission in Somalia cannot be ruled out, the team concluded, and outbreak response activities are continuing throughout the country," WHO reported.