Top of the Morning: New Polio Strain in Pakistan

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

New Strain of Polio Discovered in Pakistan

Polio eradication efforts in Pakistan are in dire straits. “Dr. Sarfraz Khan Afridi, a WHO official based in Peshawar, the capital city of Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhaw province in the northwest of the country, told VOA’s Deewa Radio that 91 cases of polio were reported in 2013, up from 58 in 2012. Earlier this month, the WHO warned that Peshawar has the world’s largest reservoir of polio virus and that 90 percent of Pakistani polio cases last year were linked to a strain of the disease found in Peshawar’s sewers. The WHO researchers say that 90 percent of the polio cases in Pakistan can be traced back to the highly contagious strain found in Peshawar, and unless transmissions are curbed in Peshawar, the virus could spread, threatening global eradication efforts.” (VOA

Security Council Authorizes EU Force for CAR

The resolution today also imposed sanctions on individuals impeding peace. “French soldiers have been guarding the airport in the capital, Bangui, where tens of thousands of displaced people have erected a makeshift camp. The European Union has authorized the deployment of a battalion of European troops — roughly 500 to 600 soldiers — to relieve the French. They will arrive within weeks, the European Union envoy to the United Nations, Thomas Mayr-Harting, told reporters on Tuesday. The Security Council measure authorizes those troops to use ‘all necessary measures’ to help African Union forces. They will be there for up to six months, Mr. Mayr-Harting said.” (NYT