@CDCMMWR reminds us that #polio eradication has a ways to go still

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I tend to follow news related to polio outbreaks pretty closely, as the prospect of eradicating another disease (like we did smallpox) is tantalizing but seems to always be just out of reach. An article in last week's edition of MMWR serves as a sobering reminder that even if we do manage to wipe out wild poliovirus, we still have to contend with collateral in the form of vaccine-derived poliovirus:
Democratic Republic of the Congo has had cases of polio caused by vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) documented since 2004. The emergence of these VDPVs, which cause paralysis similar to wild polioviruses, can occur where population immunity to poliovirus is suboptimal.
[...]
Risk for VDPV emergence in DRC will remain unless population immunity to poliovirus is increased and maintained.
Perhaps I should bet on Guinea worm as the best candidate for the next disease to be eradicated.

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