UN launches polio vaccination campaign in Mideast

GENEVA (AP) The United Nations says a massive campaign to vaccinate children in the Middle East against polio has begun after the first cases in 14 years were confirmed in northeastern Syria last week.

The U.N. children's fund said Friday that Red Crescent and government health workers in Syria and neighboring countries aim to immunize 20 million children.

UNICEF says 10 children have so far been paralyzed by the virus and it poses a risk to hundreds of thousands of children across the region.

It says preliminary evidence indicates that the strain in Syria is of Pakistani origin and is similar to one found in sewage samples in Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Polio has been eradicated in most countries but remains endemic in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 08 Oct 2015 02:56:32 Processing Time: 388ms