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Is India Polio Free?

This week will mark the one-year anniversary of the last polio case in the second-most populous country.

By | January 12, 2012

image: Is India Polio Free? Child gets oral dose of polio vaccine.Flickr, ramesh_lalwani

Child gets oral dose of polio vaccineFLICKR, RAMESH_LALWANI

Tomorrow (January 13) will be one year since the last child infected with the poliovirus was reported in India. If no other cases turn up by this one-year mark, and if routine surveillance of sewage continues to test negative for wild polioviruses, India will be removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic—leaving only Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

It’s been a long, winding road to the potential eradication of the virus in India, which has invested around $2 billion in the effort as well as incredible manpower. The millions of babies born each year, for one, made vaccination campaigns a staggering task. "We have to get to these children, these newborns, with vaccine faster than the wild virus can get to them," Hamid Jafari, project manager for the World Health Organization's National Polio Surveillance Project, told Scientific American. “It’s a race against the virus.”

Furthermore, widespread malnourishment, poverty, and poor sanitation challenged the effectiveness of the vaccine. Where it would only take around three doses in well-nourished, healthy children, those living in poor households would sometimes still get infected even after they’d been vaccinated more than 10 times.

If no more cases are indeed reported, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative might send out the official statement announcing the eradication sometime by mid-February, Scientific American reported.

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Comments

Avatar of: Erica Claggett

Erica Claggett

Posts: 1457

January 12, 2012

Fantastic news!  Sadly, I know people who would only complain that vaccines are harmful and unnecessary, and are only used to make money for "Big Pharma".

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 12, 2012

Fantastic news!  Sadly, I know people who would only complain that vaccines are harmful and unnecessary, and are only used to make money for "Big Pharma".

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 12, 2012

Fantastic news!  Sadly, I know people who would only complain that vaccines are harmful and unnecessary, and are only used to make money for "Big Pharma".

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 14, 2012

...at which point they need to switch to injectable rather than oral polio vaccine, in order to negate the chances of a vaccine-derived outbreak - while they wait for first Pakistan, and then Afghanistan to be declared polio-free.  THEN, possibly, relax!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 14, 2012

...at which point they need to switch to injectable rather than oral polio vaccine, in order to negate the chances of a vaccine-derived outbreak - while they wait for first Pakistan, and then Afghanistan to be declared polio-free.  THEN, possibly, relax!

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

January 14, 2012

...at which point they need to switch to injectable rather than oral polio vaccine, in order to negate the chances of a vaccine-derived outbreak - while they wait for first Pakistan, and then Afghanistan to be declared polio-free.  THEN, possibly, relax!

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Mettler Toledo
Mettler Toledo
Life Technologies