A &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/region/2001/07/24/10874.html ' target=_blank>polio epidemic has infected 22 children in Yemen, and the paralyzing virus is threatening to spread further, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The United Nations agency, which reported four cases around the Red Sea port city of al-Hudaydah last week, said 18 more children had contracted the disease in the poor Arab state.
It is the latest setback to the WHO's campaign to wipe out transmission of polio worldwide by year-end. An epidemic which originated in Nigeria has swept across &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/367/12116_Africa.html ' target=_blank>Africa since mid-2003, tells Reuters.
The country had been polio-free since 1996.
World Health Organization and Yemen Ministry of Health experts are currently investigating the source of the outbreak.