A case of polio has been reported in Venezuela, a country facing a severe economic and political crisis, decades after the eradication of the disease in that country, said the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
According to the organization, the diagnosed child has not been vaccinated and lives in a particularly poor area in Delta Amacuro state.
Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by damage to the gray axis of the spinal cord that affects children. It can be prevented by administering a vaccine.
The last case of acute poliomyelitis reported in Venezuela dates back to 1989, a former health minister, Jose Felix Oletta, told AFP.
“This virus particularly affects people who are malnourished and have not been vaccinated,” said Oletta.
He criticized officials in the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for waiting more than a month to notify PAHO. International regulations provide for a 24-hour period to notify of the detection of such a case.
Devastated by a serious economic and political crisis, Venezuela also recorded last year 85% of measles cases in all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, according to PAHO.
Of 1,685 measles cases reported in the region, 1,427 have been registered in Venezuela, says PAHO in a report released Saturday.