However, even as the MOH attributes the outbreak to this, the nucleotide sequencing report by experts in South Africa where the sequencing for the virus was done, shows that the virus could have been circulating in Uganda for the last two years, even though it had not yet been detected.
The virus in the two samples was classified as an ‘orphan’ with 28 changes from the closest match of mutants. In the last two years, 19 African countries have registered an outbreak. They include among others Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.
The WHO warned of a challenge of eliminating circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) in 2021 compared to previous years exacerbated by the suspension of mass immunization campaigns in many African countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has inhibited the ability of health authorities to respond to cVDPV2 outbreaks, which has been particularly challenging for countries/areas with low herd immunity, low immunization coverage, rapid population migration and insufficient government funding.