Bad news: Polio virus from Pakistan has been found in Egypt.
The importation of the virus into Egypt is another setback for the global program, which has finally been making significant progress in the past 2 years, with polio cornered in just three endemic countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. (India has now gone 2 years without a single case of polio.) Of the three, Pakistan was doing especially well in knocking out the virus, but the program there has recently been disrupted by the targeted assassination of nine polio workers in December and early January. Those killings, widely condemned, have stoked fears the virus will regain strength in Pakistan and then reinfect polio-free countries. “This is proof positive of long-distance importation from Pakistan, and there may be more,” Aylward says.
But don’t worry: the Muslim Brotherhood have us covered! “Experts are worried, Bari says, because Egypt has scaled back its national polio vaccinations campaigns from twice to once a year during the turmoil of the revolution.” [emphasis mine]