The World Health Organization says a new polio outbreak in Sudan is linked to an ongoing vaccine-sparked epidemic in Chad — a week after the U.N. health agency declared the African continent free of the wild polio virus.
In a statement this week, WHO said two children in Sudan — one from South Darfur state and the other from Gedarif state, close to the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea — were paralyzed in March and April. Both had been recently vaccinated against polio. WHO said initial outbreak investigations show the cases are linked to an ongoing vaccine-derived outbreak in Chad that was first detected last year and is now spreading in Chad and Cameroon.
“There is local circulation in Sudan and continued sharing of transmission with Chad,” the U.N. agency said, adding that genetic sequencing confirmed numerous introductions of the virus into Sudan from Chad.