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UNICEF Warns Of Possible Polio Resurgence In Madagascar Amid Outbreak Involving Three Children

“An outbreak of polio in three children from the south of Madagascar has raised concerns over a possible resurgence of this crippling disease,” BBC News reports, adding, “UNICEF spokesman Daniel Timme says three cases of polio without symptoms have been identified … during UNICEF’s Mother and Child Health week following tests and urine samples” (Healy, 10/22). “Although the children are currently not showing symptoms of polio, [Timme] said symptoms of the disease could make itself known at any time” Examiner.com writes (Herriman, 10/22).

According to BBC, “Polio vaccination programs must reach at least 80 to 90 percent of the population of the region to be effective,” but “[s]hortages of fuel for refrigerators to store the vaccines, and the closure of 250 clinics, have reduced vaccination rates to less than 40 percent in the south” of the country. “Two further vaccination campaigns are now required to ensure 90 percent of the 700,000 children are vaccinated to curb a potential epidemic,” the news service notes (10/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.