The polio endgame: securing a world free of all polioviruses

The global effort to eradicate poliomyelitis has reduced the incidence of cases caused by wild poliovirus by more than 99% since its launch in 1988, from 350 000 annual cases in 125 endemic countries to 20 cases in two countries in 2017.1 More than 16 million people who would otherwise have been paralysed by poliovirus infection are today walking, and 80%2 of the world's population lives in regions certified as polio free by WHO. Wild poliovirus now circulates in only a few areas and remains endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Of the three wild poliovirus strains (serotypes 1, 2, and 3), only one continues to be detected (wild poliovirus type 1).2 The feasibility of eradication in the near future is established, even in these remaining areas, as more and more children are being reached with vaccination. The focus now must be on securing a world free of all polioviruses—to ensure that once the virus is eradicated, it will remain eradicated.

The Lancet

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Added on: 08 January, 2018
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