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Polio reported in Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire could be 8th polio-free country to be reinfected from Nigeria

A case of paralytic poliomyelitis, with onset of paralysis on 17 December 2003, has been reported in Côte d’Ivoire. Investigations are currently ongoing to confirm whether the virus is linked to viruses that spread to other countries in west and central Africa in 2003 from northern Nigeria, following suspension of immunization campaigns in the state of Kano in August.

Côte d’Ivoire had not reported polio cases since July 2000. Côte d’Ivoire would become the eighth previously polio-free country in west and central Africa to become reinfected due to spreading type 1 poliovirus from northern Nigeria. Cases linked to northern Nigeria have to-date been confirmed in Benin (1 case), Burkina Faso (10 cases), Cameroon (1 case), Central African Republic (1 case), Chad (23 cases), Ghana (8 cases) and Togo (1 case).

Côte d’Ivoire is participating in the massive, synchronized polio immunization campaign launched in 10 countries across west and central Africa on 23 February. If high coverage is achieved during this campaign, it could limit the consequences and minimise the risk of further spread of the virus.

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For more information contact:

Melissa Corkum
Telephone: +41 22 791 2765
Mobile phone: +41 79 500 6554
E-mail: corkumm@who.int

Mr Oliver Rosenbauer
Telephone: +41 22 781 3832
Mobile phone: +41 79 500 6530
E-mail: rosenbauero@who.int