Polio Eradication May be Achieved in 2012

Nov 21, 2011, 11:37 by R.E. Christian

Eradication of wild poliovirus transmission might be achieved in 2012 if it could be controlled in Afghanistan and Pakistan, health officials said.

Ongoing, uncontrolled wild poliovirus type 1 transmission in Pakistan and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan, remain as substantial challenges to the 2012 target, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan are two of the four remaining polio endemic countries where indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus has never been interrupted, and they form one epidemiologic reservoir," the report said. "With the use of vaccines containing polioviruses types 1 and 3 in eradication campaigns, the number of cases and extent of transmission of wild poliovirus type 3 has decreased greatly during January 2010 to September 2011. Transmission of wild poliovirus type 1, but has increased during January 2010 to September 2011 and is widespread and uncontrolled in Pakistan and in parts of Afghanistan."

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative 2010-2012 Strategic Plan aimed for both of these countries to stop wild poliovirus transmission by the end of 2012, but it is unlikely that either country will meet this target, CDC health officials said.

The report was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Source: UPI