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Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Feb;26(2):419-25.

Outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in Albania, 1996: high attack rate among adults and apparent interruption of transmission following nationwide mass vaccination.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


After >10 years without detection of any cases of wild virus-associated poliomyelitis, a large outbreak of poliomyelitis occurred in Albania in 1996. A total of 138 paralytic cases occurred, of which 16 (12%) were fatal. The outbreak was due to wild poliovirus type 1, isolated from 69 cases. An attack rate of 10 per 100,000 population was observed among adults aged 19-25 years who were born during a time of declining wild poliovirus circulation and had been vaccinated with two doses of monovalent oral poliovirus vaccines (OPVs) that may have been exposed to ambient temperatures for prolonged periods. Control of the epidemic was achieved by two rounds of mass vaccination with trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine targeted to persons aged 0-50 years. This outbreak underscores the ongoing threat of importation of wild poliovirus into European countries, the importance of delivering potent vaccine through an adequate cold chain, and the effectiveness of national OPV mass vaccination campaigns for outbreak control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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