Deadly 2010 Polio Outbreak in Congo Linked to Mutant Virus

Outbreak infected 445 people and killed 47 percent of them
Deadly 2010 Polio Outbreak in Congo Linked to Mutant Virus

Image Credits: julien_harneis, Flickr

by AFP | August 19, 2014


An unusually deadly outbreak of polio in 2010 in the Democratic Republic of Congo was linked Monday to a mutated form of the virus which common vaccines may not prevent.

The outbreak of polio infected 445 people and killed 47 percent of them, a rate much higher than a six percent death rate seen during an outbreak in Tajikistan the same year.

Researchers found that in 29 percent of cases studied, people who had been vaccinated against polio in the past did not produce the necessary antibodies to fight off infection.

The risk of such polio outbreaks in the future “is very hard to project,” said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

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