Polio Outbreak in Nigeria
The polio vaccine has been linked to an outbreak of polio in Nigeria the BBC reported on Wednesday. The UN's World Health Organization said 69 children in the north have caught the disease from others who were immunized. The WHO said that outbreaks have occurred where immunizations did not reach all of the population that was being immunized. The concern of the campaign is that the population will not be skeptical of the vaccine and immunization will have to stop.
The outbreak occurred when those that were vaccinated excreted a mutated form of the virus and surrounded members of the community, who were not vaccinated, caught this mutated forms, said the WHO
The outbreak is slowing, said the WHO, because the vaccinations are continuing.
MSNBC reported that the outbreak in Nigeria is the biggest ever, and comes after a boycott of the vaccination. The boycott took place because the local population believed that the vaccine was a plot of the West to sterilize Muslim women.
In 2003 a similar event happened, when politicians in Nigeria cancelled vaccinations because of fears of the West plotting to sterilize women, which lead to an outbreak of polio and spread to two dozen countries.
THe WHO and the CDC have known about the current outbreak in Nigeria since last year, but have kept quiet to prevent another scare.
Rumors still continue and if a mass boycott happens again, the disease could once again spread, and hinder the efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.