Polio strain spreads to China from Pakistan
Polio has spread to China for the first time since 1999 after being imported from Pakistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.
It said a strain of polio (WPV1) found in China was genetically linked with the type now circulating in Pakistan.
At least seven cases have now been confirmed in China’s western Xinjiang province, which borders Pakistan.
The WHO warned there was a high risk of the crippling virus spreading further during Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca.
Polio (also called poliomyelitis) is highly infectious and affects the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis.
It is transmitted through contaminated food, drinking water and faeces.