Talent Gore

HEALTH authorities in Harare have detected polio virus type 2 circulating in the sewage system in the high-density suburbs of Budiriro 7, Crowborough, Mbare and Mufakose.

It was detected through Environmental Surveillance in Harare on October 20.

Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora, however, said the polio virus has not yet been detected in humans as yet.

“We have no cases that we have recorded so far in Harare. 

“It’s only that we always do surveillance where we screen people and their stools for polio virus.

“We also screen the sewage, so there are areas like Mbare, Mufakose, Crowborough and Budiriro where the polio virus was detected.

“What this means is that there is someone who has polio, but is not showing symptoms.”

He said they were ramping up surveillance systems to screen residents in the areas to find out if there have been any infected people.

“As a matter of urgency, we need the incident management system with an appointed incident manager for polio response to implement a coordinated outbreak response to quickly contain the outbreak and prevent further spread.”

Dr Mombeshora urged parents to ensure that their children were up to date with their polio vaccinations, and that they should not hesitate to visit health facilities to get their children immunised.

Polio is a highly infectious disease that can cause paralysis and, in rare cases, even death.

It spreads from person to person through contaminated water or food or contact with infected fecal matter.

Zimbabwe was declared polio-free in 2018.

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