Current Weather
The Spy FM

Polio Hides Out In A Few ‘Sanctuaries’ In Nigeria

Filed by KOSU News in Health.
November 8, 2012

Nigeria is the world’s epicenter for polio. It’s the only place where cases are ticking up, and it’s been the source of outbreaks in other countries since 2003.

There was a disappointing update from public health officials Thursday about the polio situation in Nigeria. Despite beefed-up efforts to vaccinate kids and a flood of new resources, Nigeria still hasn’t turned the corner on polio.

There have been twice as many polio cases as last year, and a few communities, where kids chronically miss vaccines, are serving as “sanctuaries” for the poliovirus, giving it a place to replicate and survive. At the same time, monitoring polio’s spread and transmission has been lackluster.

The update, published in the latest issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, does have a few nuggets of hope in it.

More kids have been vaccinated this year compared to 2011, and health workers are now using modern satellite tools to track vaccinators and target kids who often get overlooked.

Polio in Nigeria has been on a roller coaster ride. As in Pakistan, Muslim leaders first opposed the vaccine, but then started supporting it.

The number of polio cases plummeted from over 700 in 2008 to 21 in 2010. But since then, the virus has rebounded, and Nigeria has already reported 99 new cases so far this year.

Most infections occurred in only a few geographic locations, and these last pockets of polio pose “a major obstacle to achieving global eradication,” the authors write in MMWR.

If the virus isn’t stopped in these communities by the middle of next year, the authors call for “additional innovative vaccination strategies to interrupt all WPV (Wild Polio Virus) transmission” in Nigeria. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

Listen Live Now!

12PM to 1PM Fresh Air

Fresh Air

This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

View the program guide!

1PM to 2PM Talk of the Nation

Talk of the Nation

Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center