Thursday, November 23, 2006

Polio....still around after all those years? YUP!

I am teaching microbiology. We are presently in our virology section...and year after year I say the same thing...poliovirus will be day! The thing is that cases have gone up in 2006 in comparison to 2005...but the good news is that the increase was felt only in endemic countries. For instance here are some interesting numbers:

  • Endemic countries 2005: 1528 cases
  • Endemic countries 2006: 1686 cases
  • Non-endemic countries 2005: 873 cases
  • Non-endemic countries 2006: 108 cases
These numbers are interesting because they seem to show that vaccination in some countries is actually working. Some of the non-endemic countries were endemic decades ago. OK, vaccination works, but why is it that this disease is still around? I do not have the answer to that but the World Health Organization (WHO) with a new leader in Dr. Margaret Chan might, this time, succeed. In her speech she mentionned:" We will complete polio eradication".

I hope this terribly delibitating disease will be wiped off the surface of our planet....soon!