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Strain Of Polio From Pakistan Found In Egyptian Sewers; Vaccination Drives Planned

“Pakistani health officials Monday called for infants leaving the country to be issued polio vaccinations at airports after virus samples linked to a southern Pakistani city were discovered in Egypt,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Two sewage samples from Cairo were analyzed and found to resemble a recently discovered strain in the Pakistani city of Sukkur, a joint statement by health officials, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF said,” the news agency writes (1/22). “Egypt has not had a case of polio since 2004,” the New York Times notes, adding, “A vaccination drive is being planned for Feb. 25, and health workers are canvassing the neighborhoods where the sewage samples were taken, looking for children or adults who may have recently been paralyzed, said Sona Bari, a spokeswoman for the WHO” (McNeil, 1/23). “The BBC’s Islamabad reporter Aleem Maqbool, who is in Cairo, says the discovery has revived fears that polio could once again spread to countries where it has been eradicated,” BBC News writes (1/23).