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Persistent Obstacles Mar Progress in Eradicating Polio

JAMA. 2013;309(23):2432. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6688.
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An emergency action plan set in motion last year has reduced the number of wild poliovirus infections and the geographic reach of transmission to their lowest levels ever reported. However, ongoing transmission in a handful of countries and attacks against health workers in vaccination campaigns stand in the way of global polio eradication.

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that wild poliovirus cases decreased worldwide by 66%, from 650 in 2011 to 223 in 2012. Imported cases in previously polio-free countries decreased from 309 cases in 12 countries in 2011 to 6 cases in 2 countries in 2012. During mass immunization campaigns in 2012, an estimated 2 billion doses of oral poliovirus vaccine were administered in 46 countries to 448 million individuals, primarily children younger than 5 years.

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