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This is Worrisome

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM
  • 26 Replies

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/28/196615790/POLIO-SOMALIA


Polio Outbreak In Somalia Jeopardizes Global Eradication

Audio for this story from will be available at approximately 7:00 p.m. ET.

Health workers vaccinate a boy against polio at a May immunization drive in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Health workers vaccinate a boy against polio at a May immunization drive in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP

A big worry among people trying to wipe out polio is that the virus will regain a foothold, somewhere to launch a comeback — someplace, perhaps, like Somalia.

Polio has paralyzed 25 kids in Somalia and another six in a Kenyan refugee camp since early May, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Wednesday. Before this outbreak, Somalia hadn't had a polio case in more than five years.

There were only 223 polio cases around the world in 2012, the lowest ever recorded. Even in the remaining three endemic countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria — polio was only showing up isolated in a few remote areas.

This outbreak in Somalia could threaten that progress.

The recent cases are probably just the tip of the iceberg, says , from the World Health Organization. "The last time we saw an outbreak in this part of the world it involved Yemen, most of the countries in the Horn of Africa, Sudan and led to about 700 cases," Bari says.

Somalia is a tough place to fight polio. It has very low rates of immunization for most diseases, including polio. Vaccination teams can't even enter parts of Somalia because of violence.

Just last week, Islamic extremists a suicide attack on the United Nations headquarters in Mogadishu. After a 90-minute gun battle, 22 people at the compound died.

Despite the security problems in Somalia, emergency responses to the polio cases are underway. Local health officials in Somalia have launched three massive vaccination drives, Bari says, and Kenya has already carried out two special immunization campaigns in the refugee camp.

When outbreaks like these occur, she says, the goal is to break the poliovirus's transmission cycle by trying to get more than 90 percent of the local population vaccinated.

"The virus is looking for children in which it can circulate," Bari says. "The virus can't live out in the sewage or in the environment on its own. So it needs human beings. And it looks for people who are not immune, who are going to allow it to continue transmitting."

This outbreak is still in its early stages, she says. And WHO expects to see more polio cases reported from Somalia in the coming weeks. But, Bari says, polio workers are hopeful that the emergency vaccination campaigns are reaching enough children to slow the spread of the virus.

There have been 77 polio cases reported worldwide so far this year, compared with 84 to this point in 2012. But almost half of this year's cases have occurred in Somalia and Kenya.


by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM
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Replies (1-10):
AlekD
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 3:48 PM
3 moms liked this

Those poor kids :(  Lord, have mercy.

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM
3 moms liked this

I'm glad the WHO has a global force to get emergency vaccinations. Polio is a horrible disease to suffer. It's also a danger in such a highly mobile society.

Quoting AlekD:

Those poor kids :(  Lord, have mercy.



AlekD
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 3:57 PM

*nods* I hope they are able to contain it.

Quoting Momniscient:

I'm glad the WHO has a global force to get emergency vaccinations. Polio is a horrible disease to suffer. It's also a danger in such a highly mobile society.

Quoting AlekD:

Those poor kids :(  Lord, have mercy.



OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 4:31 PM

 That is indeed worrisome :(

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Jun. 28, 2013 at 4:35 PM

:(

furbabymum
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 4:44 PM

 Oh dear. I hope this stays contained. How awful to have your child fall ill of it.

survivorinohio
by René on Jun. 28, 2013 at 4:54 PM

:( 

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM
Polo is so scary. I wish it could eradicated. Malaria too
tweety101149
by Platinum Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 7:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Forgive me Ladies, but this is one of the reasons we require Legal immigration.  Medical exams are necessary so the poor unfortunate souls don't bring this into other countries and further spread the disease into other countries and into this one.   I know this sounds selfish., and I am sorry for that, but I was close to catching polio back in the 50's when a neighbor was stricken., I was one of the first to be given the salk vaccine.  We need to eradicate polio world wide, and have medical exams at all countries borders before allowing them in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

butterfly on headlynda  




muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 7:18 PM

I agree. It's just one plane ride away from being here. 

Quoting Momniscient:

I'm glad the WHO has a global force to get emergency vaccinations. Polio is a horrible disease to suffer. It's also a danger in such a highly mobile society.

Quoting AlekD:

Those poor kids :(  Lord, have mercy.



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