Friday, May 20, 2005

Islam - Spreading Polio

And this from Al Jazeera!!

An outbreak of polio in Yemen has risen to 63 cases, making it one of the worst epidemics in the world, the UN health agency said.

The number of cases in Yemen will probably soon exceed 100, as many more suspected cases are being investigated, said Oliver Rosenbauer, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation's polio eradication campaign.

"They are having a pretty big epidemic there," Rosenbauer said. "But we should be able to stop the virus relatively quickly."

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, which like Yemen was thought to be polio-free, two more cases have been confirmed, the WHO said. Indonesia, which reported its first case on 3 May, now has six.

Why did this happen?

Some Muslim clerics in northern Nigeria led the immunisation boycott, claiming the polio vaccine was part of a US-led plot to render Nigeria's Muslims infertile or infect them with Aids. Vaccination programmes restarted in Nigeria in July 2004 after local officials ended the 11-month boycott.

How bad has it gotten?

The virus has since spread to Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Togo.

Last year, 1267 people were infected in the world - 792 of those in Nigeria. The total new cases in 2005 stands at 198, according to WHO, with Nigeria and Yemen listed as the worst-affected countries.

What to do about it?

Officials in Yemen said parents of infected children are planning lawsuits against the Health Ministry for failing to halt the spread of the disease.

Wrong answer. Sue the Muslims who started it all.

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