Why Not Eliminate Polio Now
Recently, a World Health Organization committee unanimously agreed that the risk of the international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
In response, an editorial written by Aidan O'Leary, Director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, clearly articulates why now is the best time to eradicate polio finally.
Recent high-profile detections of poliovirus transmission in the U.K., the U.S., and Israel are, of course, concerning, and such transmission events must be (and are being) appropriately managed.
But what do they mean for the global effort to eradicate polio?
They are clear warnings, giving us a glimpse of what would happen were we not to achieve our shared goal of global polio eradication.
O'Leary's full editorial, published in Internal Health on November 7, 2022, is posted here.
And in New York, Gabby Deutch wrote on November 11, 2022, "We can detect it in the sewage, and indeed, in five counties across many, many months, we've been continually detecting poliovirus up until right this month," said Eli Rosenberg, deputy director for science in the office of public health at the New York State Department of Health.
"We have ongoing evidence of circulation in the community, and that means it's essentially a matter of time until we see more paralytic cases."
But with various polio vaccines readily available, new strategies are needed.
Some countries use a version of the oral polio vaccine that exposes recipients to the live virus, which on rare occasions, allows the virus to spread.
Since 2000, IPV has been the only polio vaccine available in the U.S.
"There's an understanding of the need to shift to the community level because, from the top down is not working."
"We need to connect with people across every spectrum and the entire nation at a level that resonates with each community."
Additional polio outbreak 2022 news is posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/Polio.