Polio Continues Havok In Indonesia

    May 5, 2005

Indonesia continues to fight off the latest outbreak of polio and with 4 more cases showing up, authorities work on immunization efforts against this crippling disease. This is the first outbreak in more than 10 years.

Most of Indonesians are immunized at 90% of the population but a section of western Java remains very low at about 55% of the population. The World Health Organization (WHO) urged Indonesia to step up its campaign. Indonesian authorities are working to immunize 5 million children in an effort to halt the spread of the horrible disease.

After a DNA analysis of the viral strain, experts say the disease got to Indonesia from Nigeria via Saudi Arabia. Nigeria has had problems because some Islamic clerics suggested in 2003 that the vaccine was being used to make Muslims infertile.

The total number of cases in this outbreak hit 5 but two more are being tested. The life threaten diseases is excruciating in that paralysis sets in and then muscular atrophy. No cure exists today. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is one of the most famous survivors of the disease living into old age before dying in during his fourth term at the end of WWII.

The disease is almost non-existent in the most of the western world. The disease used to ravage all societies as a pandemic scourge. With a vaccination developed in the middle of the 20th century, much of the world has been immunized but not everyone. Some locales like China and India continue to have problems.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.