Afghan girl has first case of polio in Kabul in 13 years

An Afghan health worker administers a polio vaccination to a child in Nangarhar province on January 26, 2014.

Story highlights

  • Polio has been eradicated in most of the world
  • It is still endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria
  • The disease can cause permanent paralysis

A 3-year-old girl in Afghanistan has been diagnosed with the first case of polio in the country's capital in 13 years, the Afghan Health Ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Kaneshka Turkistani this is Kabul's first polio case since 2001. He said the Health Ministry has started an anti-polio vaccine campaign in Kabul.

So far this year, two polio cases have been registered nationwide with the Afghan Health Ministry. Last year, 14 polio cases were registered.

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Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that can cause permanent paralysis in just hours. It has been eradicated around the world except for just a handful of countries. In addition to Afghanistan, polio is still endemic in Pakistan and Nigeria.

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