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False dawn on polio eradication 根除小兒麻痺症的虛幻曙光

(added on 2014/05/23)

©2014 SpatioEpi.com
Data source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group


On 5 May 2014, World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the international spread of wild poliovirus (WPV) is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The map shows the distribution of WPV cases between 2009 and 2014 and the status of ten countries, which are currently in polio emergency.

As shown in the map, there are ongoing polio cases in two regions - Central and Western Asia and a band of countries stretching from Nigeria to the Horn of Africa, in 2013 - 2014. Wild poliovirus circulating in Asia is mostly of Pakistani origin while polio endemic Nigeria remains the major reservoir of WPV in Africa.

Recent cases in Afghanistan, Iraq and Equatorial Guinea were found to be linked to travellers from Pakistan, Syrian Arabic Republic and Cameroon respectively, which are now considered as polio exporting countries (indicated by red footprint symbols) in the latest WHO statement. Footprint symbols in purple indicate that some neighbouring countries are also posing risk for future WPV exportations. As recommended by WHO, the states of 3 polio exporting countries should ensure that all residents and long term visitors to receive a dose of polio vaccine prior to their international travel.

Data for the map were obtained from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.





Related Article

Poliomyelitis 小兒麻痺症

What is poliomyelitis? 什麼是小兒麻痺症?

Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus, which can invade the central nervous system. Most infected people are asymptomatic, but some shows initial symptoms including fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and pain in the limbs. Incubation period usually lasts for 7 to 14 days.

Most patients recover from the infection but some may develop irreversible paralysis, permanent disability and death.



How does it spread? 如何傳播?

Poliovirus is spread from person-to-person, mainly through faecal-oral route. The virus enters human body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine.

Children under five years old are the most susceptible group.



Vaccine? Prevention? 如何預防?

There is no cure for poliomyelitis, but vaccination is effective to prevent the disease. Oral polio vaccine and inactivated polio vaccine are two available polio vaccines in the world.

Children should follow the recommended schedule of local childhood immunization programme for vaccination. Parents should take extra precautions in the hygiene practices when caring for polio infected children, whose stool may contain the virus.



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