Once Eliminated, Polio Returns To Malaysia After 27 Years


The dreaded disease of Polios has made a sudden comeback in Malaysia nearly after 30 years. Health authorities have said that a three-month-old infant has been diagnosed with polio after 3 decades in Malaysia. The country has been polio-free in 2000 itself. The last case of polio was reported in 1992. The Philippines and North Borneo have also reported the resurgence of polio some months ago. The baby boy from the Sabah State of Malaysia has been admitted to the hospital with fever and muscle weakness. Health officials have kept him in the isolation ward for the treatment. As per the reports, the infant is in stable condition but his breathing is still not normal.

Health professionals have said that the child has been diagnosed with the same polio strain, which shares the genetic links to the virus, which was, identified in the cases of the Philippines. An inspection in the area where the child belongs to has disclosed that at least 23 out of 199 children in the age group of 2 to 15 years have not been vaccinated yet. Doctors have said that the rate of immunization needs to be above 95 percent to prevent the disease. The situation in Malaysia looks quite troublesome as of now. Health officials need to take preventive action before it goes out of control.

Polio is a disease, which has no cure. It attacks the nervous system and can cause irrevocable paralysis within hours. However, the vaccine can prevent the disease. The virus targets especially children living in unhygienic and underprivileged conditions or war-affected regions where health facilities are not adequate. The officials have been monitoring the cases of acute flaccid paralysis, which is a common symptom of acute polio. T Jayabalan, a public health expert has said that polio reemerging in Malaysia is not surprising as immunization was not mandatory in the country. He has warned that this might be just the beginning as there is a high possibility of an increasing trend of polio cases across the nation. The Malaysian government has faced many challenges in the past while convincing parents to vaccinate their children.

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