Surveillance for Global Poliomyelitis Eradication: Progress Tracking, 2021-2022 | MMWR
Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that has no cure but can be prevented through vaccination. Despite the great success in reducing global cases of polio, the disease remains a public health problem in several countries. This is why progress tracking through surveillance for global poliomyelitis eradication is crucial. In this blog, we will be discussing the recent article published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) titled “Surveillance for Global Poliomyelitis Eradication: Progress Tracking, 2021-2022”.
What is Surveillance for Global Poliomyelitis Eradication?
Surveillance for Global Poliomyelitis Eradication involves tracking the spread of polio throughout different regions of the world and monitoring the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. Through surveillance, we can detect new cases of polio and determine where the disease is still persisting. With this information, we can work to strengthen vaccination efforts in areas where polio is still prevalent.
The Recent Progress Report
The recent MMWR article provides an update on the global status of polio and outlines the strategies being employed to reach complete eradication. According to the report, there were only 22 cases of wild poliovirus (WPV) reported in 2020, which is significantly lower than the previous year’s cases. This reduction in cases is a testament to the successful vaccination campaigns that have been conducted in vulnerable areas throughout the globe.
The report also highlights the fact that while WPV cases have decreased, cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) have increased. cVDPV is a strain of the virus that has mutated from the weakened form used in vaccinations and has the potential to cause outbreaks in areas with low vaccination rates. As of October 2021, 477 cases of cVDPV have been reported globally.
One of the biggest challenges in the fight against polio is the spread of misinformation regarding the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations. Anti-vaccination campaigns are prevalent in several countries, which makes it difficult to reach the necessary vaccination rates needed to completely eradicate the disease. Additionally, conflict and displacement in some regions have made it challenging to conduct vaccination campaigns.
The Way Forward
Despite the challenges faced, progress in the fight against polio has been encouraging. The report emphasizes that continued surveillance is necessary to ensure that the virus does not resurface in areas where it has previously been eliminated. Additionally, there needs to be an increased focus on reaching vulnerable populations and addressing the concerns that surround vaccinations.
In summary, surveillance for global poliomyelitis eradication is critical for tracking progress towards complete eradication of polio. While significant strides have been made in reducing the number of WPV cases, the increase in cVDPV cases underscores the importance of continued vigilance in vaccination campaigns. With continued efforts and a focus on vaccination efforts in vulnerable populations, we can strive towards a future where polio no longer poses a threat to public health.
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