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J Infect Dis. 1997 Feb;175 Suppl 1:S37-42.

Eradication of wild poliovirus from the Americas: acute flaccid paralysis surveillance, 1988-1995.

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  • 1Special Program for Vaccines and Immunization, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


In May 1985, the Pan American Health Organization proposed the goal of interruption of wild poliovirus transmission in the Western Hemisphere. An important component of the polio eradication strategy was conducting surveillance for cases of acute flaccid paralysis. Reported cases were thoroughly investigated, including the collection of stool samples for testing for the presence of wild poliovirus. The last patient with poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus in the Americas had onset of paralysis on 23 August 1991 in Peru. Since then, >9000 cases of acute flaccid paralysis have been reported and thoroughly investigated; none has been confirmed as paralytic poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus. On 29 September 1994, the International Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication declared the Americas to be polio-free.

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