Sunday, February 15, 2009


I am glad to see that there is going to be a reinvigorated effort to eradicate polio, which is now found in only four countries of the world with a total annual incidence of less than 2000 cases. It is a terrible disease and the eradication is a tiny part of that which will be necessary on a yearly basis if the disease returns to being a global scourge. Remember that when it became clear that WHO's campaign to eradicate malaria would fail, efforts to control the disease were so poorly conducted that for decades we have seen a million deaths from malaria per year.

Assuming we will be successful in the eradication of polio, the world will still need a means of assuring it is gone, and preventing any recurrence. An article in Science magazine makes me think that we probably need a new vaccine for polio. A lot has been learned since polio vaccines were introduced a couple of generations ago, and a better vaccine might well be possible now.

No comments: