Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Polio is with us yet.

According to Science magazine:

After more than a decade without a case, China is grappling with an outbreak of wild poliovirus. The Chinese Ministry of Health confirmed the disease in four young children in Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang province, in western China, who became paralyzed between 3 and 19 July. It's another major blow to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which had hoped to stop wild transmission of the crippling virus by the end of next year.
Genetic analyses have confirmed that the newly detected type 1 virus jumped the border from Pakistan, where conflict and inhospitable terrain have hampered efforts to vaccinate children. Cases in Pakistan have soared to 72 this year, up from 39 this time last year. Just 2 months ago, GPEI's Independent Monitoring Board warned that Pakistan's epidemic could jeopardize the entire global effort. China will launch an emergency campaign to vaccinate 4.5 million children in the immediate area in early September, according to GPEI.
This outbreak apparently traces back to the failure in northern Nigeria to vaccinate all its kids, and the transmission from infected Nigerians to several other countries during the Hajj. All I can say is that this really makes me mad. Paranoia in one population, possibly fanned deliberately, endangers kids everywhere.

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