US CDC assists Liberia to tackle polio virus

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) is supporting the Government of Liberia to improve surveillance and reporting of suspected polio cases in Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Maryland, River Cess, and River Gee counties. 

The US-CDC said in a statement Thursday that this collaboration reflects the need for expanded surveillance within Liberia to quickly identify and stop outbreaks of polio and other diseases. 

There are two types of polio vaccines: inactivated poliovirus given by injection and a weakened poliovirus given by the mouth. 

Both are considered safe and have significantly reduced the number of polios cases reported each year. The weakened virus vaccine is easier to administer, so it is commonly used. 

On occasion, however, the weakened virus can regain the ability to infect and then be passed on within an under-vaccinated population. 

In fact, this recently occurred in Liberia in December 2020. 

More details with Veronic Njie.

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