Wild Poliovirus Types 2 & 3 Eradicated, WHO Announces On World Polio Day, Calls For Increased Efforts To Continue Vaccinations
New York Times: Two Strains of Polio Are Gone, but the End of the Disease Is Still Far Off
“In another milestone on the long, expensive, and sometimes discouraging road to wiping out polio, global health officials announced Wednesday that two of the three strains of wild polio virus have officially been eliminated. Although that brings the world another step closer to eradication, the effort has taken far longer than was ever anticipated. … But two major obstacles emerged. First, millions of families around the world have not let their children have the drops because of persistent false rumors that the vaccine is a Western plot to sterilize Muslim girls or do other harm. Second, in some countries viruses used in the oral vaccine itself have mutated into a form that can be passed on in diapers and sewage, and can paralyze unvaccinated children…” (McNeil, 10/23).
Additional coverage of the progress on polio eradication, detection of new outbreaks, and World Polio Day, recognized annually on October 24, is available from the AP, BBC, Devex, Reuters (2), and STAT.