Two Down One To Go In Wild Poliovirus

Two Down One To Go In Wild Poliovirus

Humanity has achieved a splendor milestone. Experts of the World Health Organization has blown the horn on 24th October 2019 that the wild type 3 poliovirus has been completely wiped out. This cleansing was another historic global heath achievement following the eradication of wild poliovirus type 2 and smallpox. There were three types of wild polioviruses. Although scientifically distinct, it caused almost similar symptoms, like paralysis or sometimes fatal. The wild poliovirus type 2 was last encountered in India, and since 2015, no more was seen. Hence, it was officially certified as the end of WPV2. The latest case of WPV3 was registered in northern Nigeria in 2012. Afterward, the eradication program was rigorously thorough in confirming that the strain is undoubtedly uprooted.

The global eradication program has invested in a surveillance system, skilled employees, innovative and advanced tools, and a worldwide connection of experimental laboratories, which helped to determine the end of WPV3 in the world. It only exists in secure containment as specimens. With advanced science, it was also noted that the cases of wild polio have significantly fallen by 99% since the year 1988. But, the work is not done yet. World Health Organization will keep a tight routine global surveillance to recognize the tiniest risk of polio re-surfacing and taking precautions to curb the matter readily.

We cannot relax. WPV1 is still active only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The efforts and study must continue to remove the last strain of the virus. Silver lining news in Africa, WPV1, has been wholly eradicated in the continent since 2016. But has cases of vaccine-derived WPV2 due to low dosage of vaccine and lack of proper sanitation in 12 countries. To Band-Aid and curb future outbreaks, virologists came up with a vaccine of a novel type 2 virus. It is genetically modified to lessen revert cases. It is still under experimental study for further usage. Hopefully, it will be the answer to remove the last stain of polio from the face of Earth.


Maria Waddy

I fell into writing about healthcare shortly after graduation, where I realized that I didn't want to work in a laboratory for the rest of my life! My main areas of interest are the nerve impulses between parts of the body, brain and behavior, nerve cells and fibres as well as what influences the decisions we make about our health and how we can change it over time. I studied Biopsychology at Vassar College and got my Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at CUNY's Graduate Center in New York City.

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