Polio- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to- Health.
Polio Virus in News
- Recently, Polio, a deadly disease, is found to be spreading in London, New York and Jerusalem for the first time in decades, spurring catch-up vaccination campaigns.
- Vaccine-derived polio was detected in wastewater in the British capital, London, and in New York in the United States, with one case of paralysis reported in New York state.
- Genetically similar virus has also been found in Jerusalem, Israel, and scientists are working to understand the link.
Causes of Recent Polio Outbreak
- After COVID Travel: While countries including the Britain and the United States no longer use Polio live vaccine.
- However, other countries do use live polio vaccine to stop outbreaks which allows for global spread, particularly as people began to travel again after COVID-19.
- Under-Vaccinated Population: experts agree that the major driver behind both vaccine-derived and wild polio outbreaks remains under-vaccinated populations.
- COVID-19 & Vaccine Hesitancy: According to UN, Vaccine hesitancy was a growing problem before the pandemic, then COVID-19 caused the worst disruption to routine immunization in a generation.
- In 2020, there were 1,081 vaccine-derived polio cases, around three times as many as the previous year.
- In 2022 so far, there have been 177 cases, after major efforts to get polio vaccination campaigns back on track.
- About: Polio is a deadly viral infectious disease that used to paralyze tens of thousands of children every year by affecting nervous system of the patient.
- Polio Type: Polio can be categorized following three immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains-
- Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)
- Wild Poliovirus type 2 (WPV2)
- Wild Poliovirus type 3 (WPV3)
- Symptoms: Affecting mainly children under five, Polio is often asymptomatic but can also cause symptoms including fever and vomiting.
- Impact: Around one in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, and among those patients, up to 10% die.
- Prevention and Cure: There is no cure of Polio, but since a vaccine was found in the 1950s, polio is entirely preventable.
- Present Status: Globally, the wild form of the disease has almost disappeared.
- Afghanistan and Pakistan are now the only countries where the highly infectious disease, spread mainly through contact with faecal matter, remains endemic.
- But this year, imported cases were also found in Malawi and Mozambique, the first in those countries since the 1990s.
- Polio in India: After three years of zero cases, India received polio-free certification by the WHO in 2014.
- The last case due to wild poliovirus in the country was detected on 13th January 2011.
- Pulse Polio Campaign is considered as the major Indian initiative that led to elimination of Polio in India.
WHO Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency