Whole populations to be vaccinated in emergency response to polio outbreak

The first wave of mass polio immunization campaigns -targeting 3 million people of all ages- is to begin on Friday (12 November) to address an unusual outbreak of polio that is primarily claiming victims amongst adults. The campaign will take place in the coastal port city of Pointe Noire and in the Department of Kouilou in the Republic of Congo, 16 districts in the neighbouring province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and over the border in Angola.
This is the first vaccination response to the polio outbreak confirmed on 4 November in the Republic of Congo. Latest figures from 9 November, record a cumulative total of 226 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) with an unusually high mortality rate of 97 deaths. To date, four of the AFP cases have been confirmed as polio.
Most of the cases have involved young adults aged between 15 and 29. This illustrates that populations are at risk because they have not been exposed to a full immunisation. The giving of vaccination to all ages is intended to raise the general level of immunity to stop the spread of the disease.
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