South Sudan Is Polio-Free; Sample Contamination Responsible For False-Positive Lab Results

“South Sudan and [WHO] officials have reassured locals and the international community that South Sudan is polio-free, after they found that three reported cases of the crippling disease were misdiagnoses,” VOA News reports. Noting the samples sent to Nairobi for analysis were discovered to have been contaminated, South Sudanese Health Minister Riek Gai Kok “said the mistaken diagnoses in South Sudan were discovered after the U.S. [CDC] took the unusual step of doing a second round of tests on the South Sudan samples, seeking to confirm the outbreak,” the news service writes. “Gai says there are still concerns that an ongoing polio outbreak in Somalia could enter South Sudan,” VOA notes, adding, “The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by the WHO, has said the Somalia outbreak has already spread to Ethiopia and Kenya” (Green, 10/30).

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