Wednesday, August 25, 2004

new polio cases in Guinea and Mali

New polio infections have been reported in Guinea, Mali, and the Darfur region of Sudan -- areas that had been thought to be out of the danger zone.
"What this means is that the major epidemic of polio we've been fearing has now spread beyond the firewall we put in place ... as we tried to contain the virus as close as possible to the epicenter in Nigeria," Bruce Aylward, who coordinates WHO's anti-polio initiative, told reporters.

Guinea and Mali are outside a ring of countries that conducted synchronized immunization campaigns in February and March to try to limit the spread of polio from northern Nigeria and Niger, the statement said.

[...] Both Guinea, which has one confirmed new case, and Mali, with two cases, had reported their last polio infection in 1999, the statement said. (source)
Another source ...
The polio outbreak that originated in northern Nigeria after suspension there of immunization last year has now spread to 12 other countries, underscoring the threat of a major epidemic across West and Central Africa and the urgent need to fill a $100-million funding gap, the United Nations health agency warned today [actually yesterday]. (source)