News: Eradication of Polio-Management of Social sector services relating to Health On World Polio Day (October 24), an independent commission of experts led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide. About Wild poliovirus

  • There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains.
  • All three strains are identical, in that they cause irreversible paralysis or even death. 
  • But there are genetic and virological differences, which make these three strains three separate viruses that must each be eradicated individually.

Achievement So far?

  • Following the eradication of smallpox and wild poliovirus type 2 now type 3 (WPV3) poliovirus has been eradicated worldwide.
  • Of the three wild polio serotypes, only type one remains.

What Next?

  • The achievement of polio eradication will be a milestone for global health. Commitment from partners and countries, coupled with innovation have made this possible.
  • This achievement should reinvigorate the eradication process and provides motivation for the final step i.e. the eradication of wild poliovirus type 1. This virus remains in circulation in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Know about Polio Disease.

  • Poliovirus only infects humans.
  • Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5.
  • The virus is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. 
  • It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. 
  • Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine.
  •  Symptoms: of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. 
  • Cure: There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.
  • Vaccination: There are two types of vaccine that can prevent polio: inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) and oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).
  • Polio remains endemic in three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio, especially vulnerable countries with weak public health and immunization services and travel or trade links to endemic countries.
  • India’s Status:
  • The SEAR (South East Asia Region) countries were declared Polio-Free in 2014, three years after the last case of wild poliovirus infection, detected in West Bengal India. Since then no wild poliovirus cases have been detected in India and the country is no longer a high focus or polio-endemic country as per the GPEI (Global Polio Eradication Initiative) of WHO.
  • Though, India is a wild, poliovirus, disease-free country currently. But, the cases of Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) disease, (around 50 cases documented by India lauded AFP surveillance system) can be seen. 
  • The emergence of VDPV disease is a known risk of OPV vaccination, where the weakened live virus given as vaccine in OPV start becoming virulent and thus give rise to the disease in a few children among the lakhs that were vaccinated with it. There is a dire need to focus on getting more and more children vaccinated with IPV, which not only poses no risk of VDPV but also give 99 percent protection from wild polio and VDPV disease.

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