Polio outbreak spreads in Yemen

Doctors in Yemen are battling to contain an outbreak of polio that has so far affected 22 people. The country had been counted as polio-free for the past nine years.

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By  Stuart Qualtrough Published  May 1, 2005

Doctors in Yemen are battling to contain an outbreak of polio that has so far affected 22 people. The country had been counted as polio-free for the past nine years. Officials from World Health Organisation are assisting the Yemen Ministry of Health in determining the source of the outbreak. There are fears the number of people affected could still rise and health chiefs have launched and an urgent vaccination campaign to try to halt the spread of the disease. Experts say outbreaks can be quickly contained with high quality immunisation campaigns which reach every child under the age of five. Four cases of polio were confirmed in Yemen on 20 April in the south-western part of the country, on the Red Sea coast. The latest 18 cases occurred across the country, including in two districts in the country's capital Sanaa, suggesting the virus had spread across the country. Yemen is the most recent of fifteen polio-free countries that have reported cases of polio since the epidemic began in late 2003.

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