2 polio outbreaks in Congo, World Health Organization says

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says two separate outbreaks of the polio virus have been confirmed in Congo. These are the first cases of polio in the vast Central African nation since 2012.

The U.N. health agency says cases have been confirmed in two districts of Haut-Lomami province and in Maniema province. It does not say how many cases have been confirmed.

WHO says there is a high risk of the highly contagious virus spreading. WHO and Congo’s ministry of health are working on a response plan.

Polio had been reduced by more than 99.9 percent worldwide and had been eliminated in all but three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The virus some 30 years ago paralyzed more than 350,000 children each year in more than 125 countries.