Polio Outbreak Hits China

Strain is tied to one found in Pakistan
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2011 11:18 AM CDT
A Pakistani health worker gives polio vaccine drops to a child at a roadside polio vaccination camp in Peshawar. The strain found in China in tied to Pakistan.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you thought polio had been eradicated, you're at least 50% right: The highly infectious virus was "virtually eliminated" from the Western hemisphere in the last century, but remains endemic in Pakistan, among other places, reports the BBC—and a strain circulating there has been genetically tied to the first cases to appear in China since 1999. WHO confirms that at least seven cases have been diagnosed in a western Chinese province bordering Pakistan, and fears that Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca will give the virus longer legs. Chinese officials are attempting to stem the spread via a vaccination campaign. (Read more polio stories.)

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