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Mass polio campaign launched in 3 African nations

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo (AP) - International aid groups say they will conduct mass polio immunizations in three central African nations in an emergency response to an unusual outbreak that targets more adults than children and is suspected in almost 100 deaths.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Rotary International say the vaccination is a response to a recent outbreak of the highly infectious disease in Republic of Congo. The agencies counted 97 deaths out of 226 cases of paralysis, and said Thursday four cases have been confirmed as polio.

The agencies say vaccinations begin Friday and cover some 3 million people. WHO says the vaccinations will be given regardless of past polio immunizations. Immunizations will continue through the end of the year and will also cover parts of neighboring Congo and nearby Angola.


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