India interrupted wild poliovirus spread

Nov. 3, 2011 at 8:46 PM
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ATLANTA, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- India is the only country that is on track to interrupt wild poliovirus transmission in 2011, U.S. health officials say.

A report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said the absence of wild poliovirus during the high-transmission season strongly indicates India has interrupted wild poliovirus transmission.

"Ideally, lessons learned in India will be applied elsewhere -- Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria -- to further progress toward polio eradication," the report said.

"During 2010/2011, India has made substantial progress toward polio eradication. In 2010, only 42 wild poliovirus cases were reported in India of the total of 232 in endemic countries. In 2011, India has reported only one wild poliovirus case and nine months have passed since this case."

Significant improvements in polio immunization coverage in children in high-risk endemic areas and migrant populations, the introduction of bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine, and improvements in routine immunization coverage and rapid response to outbreaks in new areas likely contributed to stopping transmission, health officials said.

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