Polio declared global emergency
The spread of polio to countries previously considered free of the crippling disease is a global health emergency, the World Health Organisation said, as the virus once nearly extinct mounts a comeback.
Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria pose the greatest risk of exporting the virus to other countries, and should ensure that residents have been vaccinated before they travel, the Geneva- based WHO said in a statement on Monday after a meeting of its emergency committee. It’s only the second time the United Nations agency has declared a public health emergency of international concern, after the 2009 influenza pandemic.
Polio has resurged as military conflicts from Sudan to Pakistan disrupt vaccination campaigns, giving the virus a toehold. The number of cases reached a record low of 223 globally in 2012 and jumped to 417 last year, according to the WHO. There have been 74 cases this year, including 59 in Pakistan, during what is usually polio’s “low season,” the WHO said.
The disease’s spread, if unchecked, “could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious, vaccine-preventable diseases,” Bruce Aylward, the WHO’s assistant director general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration, told reporters in Geneva on Monday. “The consequences of further international spread are particularly acute today given the large number of polio-free but conflict- torn and fragile states which have severely compromised routine immunisation services.”
Under the recommendations adopted by WHO Director General Margaret Chan on Monday, Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria should declare public health emergencies and ensure travellers are vaccinated and provided with documentation proving their status.
An $US11.8 billion eradication campaign backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Rotary International had reduced polio to three countries in which it spreads locally: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In the past six months, the virus has spread to Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Israel and Somalia, according to the WHO.
While the number of cases in Afghanistan and Nigeria dropped by more than half last year, figures jumped 60 percent in Pakistan, where vaccination efforts have been hampered by rumours the shots cause infertility, and after the US Central Intelligence Agency used a fake vaccination program to help hunt down Osama bin Laden. Twenty polio vaccinators and nine police officers assigned to guard them were killed in Pakistan last year, according to Rotary.
so..does this mean bill gates has failed?
“In the past six months, the virus has spread to Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Israel and Somalia, according to the WHO.”
no doubt global warming will be blamed eh?