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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1991 Mar;10(3):222-9.

Eradication of poliomyelitis: progress in the Americas.

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Pan American Health Organization, Expanded Program on Immunization, Washington, DC 20037.


In the span of 5 years since the eradication initiative was launched and only 3 years since external funds were made available, PAHO has been able to develop and implement a comprehensive program strategy for polio eradication that includes the following components: achievement and maintenance of high immunization levels (which include the supplemental strategies of national immunization days and mop-up operations); effective surveillance to detect all new cases; and a rapid response to the occurrence of new cases. Despite yearly increases in the number of cases of acute flaccid paralysis reported to the surveillance system, a decline in reported confirmed cases of polio has occurred since 1986 to record low levels in 1989. Cases in 1989 were reported from only 0.7% of the counties in the Americas. The occurrence of 24 wild-type virus isolates in 1989 were limited to only three geographic areas: northwestern Mexico; the northern Andean Region; and northeastern Brazil. At this writing the clock is ticking with only 3 months left to achieve the goal of interrupting transmission by the end of 1990. If the current level of effort is sustained and special efforts are directed at the remaining foci of infection, the eradication of the transmission of wild-type poliovirus from the Americas can be achieved. Continued external financial support will be critical if the effort is to succeed. The prospect of poliomyelitis eradication in the Americas led the 41st World Health Assembly of WHO to adopt a resolution in May, 1988, to eradicate the indigenous transmission of wild-type poliovirus from the world by the year 2000.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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