Medicine: Polio cases worldwide




Glenye Cain writes: I'm not sure exactly what Mr. Black is disagreeing with, or what ambiguity he is finding, unless he thinks I am somehow denying that polio is less prevalent than it was before the polio vaccine debuted. I wasn't saying that at all, but rather observing with alarm that there had been a sharp upswing in the number of confirmed cases from 2003 to 2004. Considering that there IS a vaccine, that upswing definitely is noteworthy and alarming to me. The numbers have indeed been updated regularly, and so the numbers I quoted back when I first submitted the post have changed, showing that as of Nov. 30, there were 988 confirmed wildpolio cases worldwide, up from last year. As for the Indian cases, they certainly did drop back after the weirdly large jump in 2002; I mentioned the 2002 figures simply because they were so strange that they indicated a real anomaly, not out of any ulterior desire to terrify people or to somehow imply that the Salk vaccine wasn't working. On the contrary, I'm disappointed the vaccine occasionally runs into situations such as the one that existed until this summer in Nigeria--at significant cost to unvaccinated populations.

As for Nigeria, Mr. Black noted: "Nigeria's numbers are: 2004, 678 confirmed new cases; 2003, 355 new cases; 2002, 202 new cases. But at least they are back in the immunization game today thanks to international political pressure". I noted these facts myself, so I assume Mr. Black is simply  reiterating them and does not require additional clarification from me. Regarding the link: it has indeed gone out of order since I submitted the post. Here is the current address (as of Dec. 7) for the chart I used then:

http://www.polioeradication.org/content/fixed/casecount.shtml

In case anyone should need it, here is the relevant chunk of my original post:
<<The list covers cases of wild poliovirus cases worldwide for the years 2000-2004. It's interesting--and alarming--to note that the total number of cases for 2004 so far already is 851, well up from last year's 447 cases. Nigeria, which boycotted the vaccination campaign until this summer, leads the world at the moment with 637 cases. Their cases have risen steadily over the last five years, from 28 in 2000, to 56 in 2001, 202 in 2002, to 335 last year.
There appears to have been a major outbreak of poliovirus in India in 2002, resulting in 1600 cases and bring the global total for that year to 1,918. India traditionally has been among the leading countries for polio occurrence. This data originates with the World Health Organization's headquarters.>>
Glenye Cai


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Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: January 16, 2005