Sunday, January 15, 2012

A year without Polio for India

India's last case of polio was in January 12, 2011, which marks a year without a single case of polio. Wow, especially since India was considered the "epicenter" of polio and responsible for half the cases in the world! If the elimination was indeed successful, this leaves only THREE polio-endemic countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

The effort has been impressive, including two government-run, five-day campaigns that vaccinated some 172 million children each. This took some $2 billion over the last decade or so, and much of it came from within India itself.

Fun fact: most vaccines now are bivalent, since type 2 has been eradicated =] Additionally, governments that have recently eliminated polio but continue to vaccinate are determining how to switch to IPV, which carries less risk. This is difficult in poor countries, which can't afford the manufacture or infrastructure to support routine injection of IPV.

It's excited to think we might see the eradication of polio soon, and maybe even the eradication of many important diseases within our lifetimes! Makes me want to join vaccine science.

Article 1 and 2.

-Annelise Mah

One more interesting thing: an article about how HIV doesn't cause AIDS. Several nonscientific claims by the author—can you rebut?


virophile said...

I almost wish I hadn't read that bonus article :[


Annelise said...

haha yeah it makes me want to pound my head against something...sorry for not leaving a disclaimer!