“A third child has been paralyzed by wild poliovirus type one (WPV1) in Borno state,” the WHO said in a statement.
“It’s all linked to the same outbreak. Detection of new cases is not unexpected and can be anticipated, particularly as disease surveillance is being strengthened including by conducting retrospective case searches.”
The statement quoted Stephanie Mucznik, spokeswoman for the Rotary International which is working with the Nigerian government to eradicate polio, as saying that the three cases appear to come from the same strain of the disease circulating in the region for years.
Mucznik said the latest case concerned a two-year-old boy suffering from the onset of paralysis on Aug. 6 in the Monguno area.
"Genetic sequencing of the isolated viruses suggests they are most closely linked to WPV1 last detected in Borno in 2011, indicating the strain has been circulating without detection since that time," Mucznik said.
Nigeria was to be certified polio-free next year in July but the latest cases have shattered that dream.
Abuja said the new cases were detected from children just recovered from areas hitherto inaccessible to vaccinators as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
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