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Public Health Grand Rounds

Presentation: Polio Eradication in India

The polio crisis of the early 20th century has been largely forgotten in the U.S. due to the creation of the Salk vaccine and the effective immunization campaigns of the 1950s. Unfortunately, the wild poliovirus (WPV) still remains a real public health threat in many corners of the world. In 1988, the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate polio transmission by 2000, and as a result, global polio incidence declined by more than 99%, from an estimated 350,000 cases in 125 countries to 1,659 confirmed cases in 25 countries in 2008. Although there was substantial progress up to 2002 in preventing transmission of WPV, the pace of progress has since slowed or reversed. India, along with a handful of other nations with low routine immunization coverage, has served as a reservoir of wild poliovirus for importation into other countries that were once polio-free.

This session of Public Health Grand Rounds focused on current efforts to contain the remaining polio cases in India, as well as discussed measures needed to completely eradicate this public health burden globally.

Presented by:

Dr. Steve Cochi, Global Immunization Division, National Centers for Immunization and
Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Dr. Hamid Jafari, Global Immunization Division detailed
to WHO India, Dr. Mark Pallansch, Division of Viral Diseases, National Centers for
Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

Discussant:
Dr. Walter Dowdle, Task Force for Global Health, Atlanta

Facilitator:

Dr. Tanja Popovic, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds

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