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First signs of impact of Bin Laden assassination on polio in Pak

Readers might remember a posting a few weeks ago on the likelihood of Osama Bin Laden’s legacy living on in an increased number of polio cases in South Asia. The US used a fake immunisation drive as a cover for collecting the DNA of Bin Laden’s family. The doctor involved was convicted of spying in a recent high-profile case in Pakistan. Yesterday’s Indian Express reports that Taliban commanders in tribal areas have now banned polio immunisations saying that the latest campaign is “a cover for American spies.” Pakistan had 22 new cases of polio last year; India had none. There is little travel, of course, between India and Pakistan but ideas don’t have frontiers and Muslim areas of India have, in the past, had higher-than-average numbers of vaccine refusers.

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