Tuesday January 28, 2020

World Health Organization Says First Local Case of Polio Found in Zambia Since 1995

The U.N. health agency said there is no established link between the Zambia case and the ongoing Congo outbreak

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World, Health, Polio
FILE - A Congolese child is given a polio vaccination at a relief camp near Gisenyi, Rwanda, Jan. 25 , 2002. The WHO says Zambia has reported its first local case of polio since 1995 in a 2-year-old boy paralysed by a virus derived from the vaccine. VOA

The World Health Organization says Zambia has reported its first local case of polio since 1995, in a 2-year-old boy paralyzed by a virus derived from the vaccine.

In a report this week, WHO said the case was detected on the border with Congo, which has reported 37 cases of polio traced to the vaccine this year. The U.N. health agency said there is no established link between the Zambia case and the ongoing Congo outbreak but said increased surveillance and vaccination efforts are needed, warning that “there is a potential for international spread.”

In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks.

Nine African countries are currently battling polio epidemics linked to the vaccine as WHO and partners struggle to keep their efforts to eradicate polio on track. Elsewhere, cases have been reported in China, Myanmar and the Philippines.

World, Health, Polio
In a report this week, WHO said the case was detected on the border with Congo, which has reported 37 cases of polio traced to the vaccine this year. Pixabay

On Thursday, WHO and partners are expected to announce they have rid the world of type 3 polio virus.

There are three types of polio viruses. Type 2 was eliminated years ago. That now leaves only type 1. But that refers only to polio viruses in the wild. Type 2 viruses continue to cause problems since they are still contained in the oral polio vaccine and occasionally evolve into new strains responsible for some vaccine-derived outbreaks.

The global effort to eradicate polio was launched in 1988 and originally aimed to wipe out the potentially fatal disease by 2000. While cases have dropped dramatically, the virus remains stubbornly entrenched in parts of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. This year there have been 72 cases of polio in Pakistan after only eight in 2018.

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In meeting notes from an expert polio oversight board in September, WHO’s Michel Zaffran said the status of eradication was “of great concern,” noting the Taliban’s ban on house-to-house vaccination in Afghanistan. Officials described the program in Pakistan as a “failing trajectory.” (VOA)

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Ways to Correct Your Posture for a Healthy Life

Build better posture for good health

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Posture
Maintaining a poor posture for long periods of time affects the natural alignment of the body and lowers energy levels. Pixabay

Poor posture can not only make you look bad but can also have adverse effects on your overall health and lifestyle.

“Maintaining poor postures for long periods of time affects the natural alignment of the body and lowers energy levels. In addition to soreness and pain in the body, poor posture can also lead to physical and mental stress.

“Postures defects can negatively influence lung function and lead to shortness of breath. Long term effects of bad posture could even impact blood circulation, digestive pattern as well as the nervous system. People who tend to slouch have also often reported having headaches,” Dr Sumalatha KB, Consultant, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Aster CMI Hospital told IANSlife.

Posture
Become more mindful of your posture throughout the day, even when you are absorbed in any external activities. Pixabay

The expert shares these top tips to maintain correct postures:

1. Become more mindful of your posture throughout the day, even when you are absorbed in any external activities. Exercises focusing on the body core help immensely in retraining the body to hold itself the right way, while also increasing self-awareness of the body.

2. Exercise in the correct form, and invest in rest and recovery after a workout. Engage in muscle-strengthening exercises.

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3. It is advised to switch sitting positions, take brief walks and breaks from the computer system on your workdays. Do not stay in the sitting position for too long. Ensure you stand/walk often and stand straight while you do it. Doing this can help you prevent pain, injuries and other health problems. (IANS)