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Poliomyelitis -- Taiwan

As of September 7, 1982, 388 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis have been reported to the health authorities from all counties in Taiwan. The first reported case of laboratory-confirmed type 1 paralytic poliomyelitis occurred in Tai Chung City with onset on May 29, 1982. Fifty-six percent of Taiwan's reported cases were among children under 2 years of age, and 15% were 2-4 years old. The youngest reported patient was 4 months old and the oldest was 32 years old. Vaccination status was known for 71% of patients: 56% of these had no prior polio vaccine, 37% had only one or two doses, and 7% had three or more doses. Twenty-nine type 1 polioviruses have been isolated from specimens from the 48 patients with paralytic disease that have been tested to date.

From 1975 through 1981, fewer than nine cases per year of paralytic poliomyelitis had been reported in Taiwan. The last year in which there were as many cases as are currently being reported was 1966 when there were 400 cases. Health authorities have undertaken a mass vaccination program utilizing trivalent oral polio vaccine directed, initially, at the population under 5 years of age and, subsequently, at persons through primary school age (up to 12 years). Reported by Health Authorities, Taipei, Taiwan; Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Quarantine Div, Immunization Div, Center for Prevention Svcs, CDC.

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