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Law Would Jail Parents Whose Children Aren't Vaccinated

Skepticism in Pakistan has turned violent

(Newser) - Authorities in one Pakistan province are turning to a contentious new tactic in the decades-long initiative to wipe out polio: prison. Last month, the government in Sindh introduced a bill, now in the final stages of becoming law, that would imprison parents for up to one month if they fail...

Gates Foundation Commits $1.2B to Ending Polio

Virus still spreads in Afghanistan and Pakistan

(Newser) - Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only remaining countries where the polio virus is in circulation. "The last steps to eradication are by far the toughest," said Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he said is committed to a global "polio-free future."...

New York Declares Emergency on Polio

Virus is detected in another county's wastewater

(Newser) - New York state reported a rare case of polio back in July, and no active cases have since surfaced. However, the virus that causes the potentially fatal disease appears to be spreading nonetheless, prompting Gov. Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency, reports NBC News . Her move on Friday...

'Alarming' New Find on Polio in New York State

After emerging in Hudson Valley, virus pops up in NYC sewage, suggesting local circulation

(Newser) - Polio appears to be working its way south through New York state, now making an appearance in New York City sewage after earlier showing up in wastewater in Orange and Rockland counties, reports CNBC . That suggests the virus is now circulating locally, spreading quietly among the unvaccinated. It's an...

'Hundreds' of People in NY May Be Infected With Polio

So says state's health commissioner after virus turns up in wastewater in a 2nd county

(Newser) - News last month of an unvaccinated man in New York's Rockland County contracting polio and suffering paralysis was soon followed by reports of the virus being found in wastewater there. Now, nearby Orange County has also turned up polio in its sewage, in samples taken from two different locations...

US Records First Case of Polio in Years
Polio Resurfaces in New York

Polio Resurfaces in New York

New York health officials say infection originated in a vaccine

(Newser) - A case of polio has been confirmed in New York state, the health department announced Thursday. The infected person has a type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus, STAT News reports. The department gave the source as an oral polio vaccine, which hasn't been used in the US since 2000. Other countries...

UK Is Investigating Possible Polio Outbreak

Country hasn't had a confirmed case since 1984

(Newser) - Clinics in the UK have been put on high alert after a disturbing find in London's sewers. Authorities say multiple closely related samples of the virus that causes polio have been found in sewage water, suggesting there is an outbreak occurring in the capital, NPR reports. "The last...

She Relies on an Iron Lung, Is 'Desperate' for Parts

NPR talks to polio survivor Martha Lillard, 73

(Newser) - In 2017, we shared a Gizmodo reporter's experience visiting the last three polio survivors in the US who still rely on an iron lung for survival. One of them was Martha Lillard, who shared her worries about needing to conserve the canvas spiral collars she relies on to provide...

Urging Vaccinations, McConnell Brings Up Polio

Senator survived that disease as a boy, before a vaccine was developed

(Newser) - Sen. Mitch McConnell, who would have benefited from a vaccine for another disease decades ago, is urging his constituents to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Senate minority leader has recorded a 60-second radio commercial that began airing Thursday on 100 stations in Kentucky, CNN reports. When he was a...

For Just the 2nd Time, a Virus Is Eradicated in Africa

The continent is now free of wild poliovirus

(Newser) - "This is an incredible and emotional day," WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti said Tuesday as health authorities declared the African continent free of the wild poliovirus after decades of effort. The declaration leaves Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan as the only countries thought to still have the wild poliovirus,...

Global Rollout of New Polio Vaccine 'Largest' in History

155 countries will swap supplies in two weeks

(Newser) - As the world moves " closer than ever to ending polio," more than 150 countries are taking part in what the Global Polio Eradication Initiative calls the "largest and fastest" global rollout of a routine vaccine, NPR reports. The endeavor, which entails swapping out an older oral polio...

Polio Virus Lingered in Man's Gut for Decades

And that's bad news for children of anti-vaxxers and the developing world

(Newser) - For nearly his entire life, a 29-year-old man living in the United Kingdom has had the polio virus living in his gut—where the strain has mutated from the weakened form he received in a vaccine as an infant to a much more virulent strain, according to a study published...

CIA to Stop Using Vaccines as Spy Cover

Health deans warned ruse could harm polio fight

(Newser) - A top White House official has pledged that the CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for spying operations—a ruse the agency used to target Osama bin Laden before the raid that killed him in 2011. Lisa Monaco, President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, wrote to the...

WHO Declares Polio a Global Health Emergency

First time the organization has done so

(Newser) - For the first time ever, the World Health Organization today declared the spread of polio an international public health emergency that could grow in the next few months and unravel the nearly three-decade effort to eradicate the crippling disease. The agency described current polio outbreaks across at least 10 countries...

Doctors Stumped by Mystery Paralysis Disease

They're not even positive how to describe it

(Newser) - Doctors are hitting brick walls in their search for the cause of the polio-like condition that's partially paralyzed at least two dozen California children, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Doctors assume a virus is at work, but almost all of the patients they're examining weren't tested for...

Polio-Like Illness Hits Kids in California
Puzzling Polio-Like Illness Hits Kids in California
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Puzzling Polio-Like Illness Hits Kids in California

Doctors mystified by at least 25 cases

(Newser) - Public health officials are mystified by an outbreak of a polio-like illness that has left at least 25 children in California with paralyzed limbs. The affected children are hit quickly with severe weakness or paralysis, sometimes after a respiratory illness, the Los Angeles Times reports. The first case surfaced in...

Afghanistan Hits Ominous New Polio Milestone

Capital sees first case since fall of Taliban

(Newser) - Health workers in Afghanistan are on high alert after a girl was diagnosed with polio in Kabul—the first case the capital has seen since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. An urgent vaccination campaign has been launched in the city, especially in the desperately poor community of former...

Syria's Polio Threatens Europe, Warn Doctors

Refugees could inadvertently spread the disease

(Newser) - Polio might just be looking at a comeback tour, thanks to the Syrian civil war. There's a significant risk that the now-rare disease could spread from Syria to Europe, as refugees seek asylum there, a group of German scientists warned in The Lancet today. The danger is that many...

WHO Confirms Polio Outbreak in Syria

Finds 10 cases in first outbreak in 14 years

(Newser) - WHO has confirmed it: Syria is experiencing its first polio outbreak in 14 years. The UN body has confirmed 10 cases in the country so far, and another 12 potential cases are being investigated, the BBC reports. Most victims are under two years old and likely were never vaccinated, a...

Syria's New Woes: Polio, Flesh-Eating Parasites

Vaccination program breaks down

(Newser) - Syria's clerics last week gave the starving people of Damascus the OK to eat dog , and the bad news has not ended there. The World Health Organization now suspects polio has returned to the country. If verified, these would be the first recorded cases there since 1999. And it'...

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