International aid groups say they will conduct mass polio immunisations in three central African countries in an emergency response to an unusual outbreak that targets more adults than children and is suspected in almost 100 deaths. The countries are the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola

UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Rotary International say the vaccination is a response to a recent outbreak of the highly infectious disease in the Republic of Congo. The agencies counted 97 deaths out of 226 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), and said, on November 12, that four cases have been confirmed as polio.

The agencies say vaccinations began on November 13 and cover some three million people. The WHO says the vaccinations will be given regardless of past polio immunisations and will continue through the end of the year covering parts of neighbouring Congo and nearby Angola.

Health partners including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have secured some $4.8 million, 1.7 million doses of oral polio vaccines (OPV). Another five million doses of OPV from Denmark arrived in Congo on November 12.

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