Pakistan Only Country Still Spreading Polio, WHO Says

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Pakistan is the only country that’s still exporting polio cases and should continue making sure all travelers are vaccinated, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

The three other countries that risk spreading the virus — Cameroon, Syria and Equatorial Guinea — have all gone just about a year without any international spread but still need to be vigilant, WHO said.

Pakistan is a big problem, with vaccination teams regularly attacked. Some religious leaders fear vaccination. Militants mistrust the teams doing the work. A team was attacked last month and the driver was killed.

“The international spread of wild poliovirus has continued with one new exportation from Pakistan into neighboring Afghanistan documented after 13 November 2014,” WHO said. “Although there is seasonal decline in the number of reported cases in Pakistan, transmission is ongoing in each of the four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.”

Pakistan should continue to stop travelers who cannot show they have been vaccinated from leaving the country, WHO says.


-- Maggie Fox