Cablegate: One Step Back for Global Polio Eradication: Four
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UNCLAS SANAA 001032
STATE - PLEASE PASS TO CDC. AMMAN - PLEASE PASS TO JOCK
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED YM
SUBJECT: ONE STEP BACK FOR GLOBAL POLIO ERADICATION: FOUR
CASES IN YEMEN
1. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified four
cases of polio in Yemen since early February. According to
Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Abdulmagid Al-Kulaidi, the
genetic profile of the polio virus indicates that these cases
may be related to the ongoing outbreak in Sudan, which in
turn are related to an outbreak in Nigeria. WHO
Representative Dr. Hisham al-Zein hypothesized that the
transfer point could be Mecca, Saudi Arabia, annual
destination for millions of Hajj pilgrams.
2. Whatever the origins of the virus, the four cases indicate
current or ongoing tranmission in Yemen. With results of
laboratory tests of the four Accute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP)
polio cases still pending, the Yemen Ministry of Health
swiftly engaged the WHO to conduct a national vaccination
campaign. The WHO plans to complete the first innoculation
campaign in May and June.