Vaccinations ordered in Kenya after cases of polio surface
Sep 19, 2011
After three confirmed cases of Wild Polio Virus Type 1 in western Kenya, health officials are working hard to combat the problem before it spreads, IRIN reports.
The virus has been found in three children in the Rongo District. Common side-effects include paralysis and on average 1 in every 200 people infected will be irreversibly paralyzed, the news outlet reports.
"Even if one case is detected, it is considered an outbreak as the virus can spread really fast," Shahnaaz Sharif, the Director of Public Health and Sanitation, told the news source.
Since the cases were discovered, an immunization campaign has been set up through the government and humanitarian groups in Rongo and the neighboring towns of Homabay, Kisumu, Nyamira, Migori and Transmara.
"We are targeting at least 1.8 million children aged below five years as we do not want to take [the] chances of letting the virus spread even further," Sharif told the news outlet. "There are 200 carriers in every one case detected."
Parents are being urged to bring their children in for medical care if they are experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, fever, fatigue and stiffness in the neck.