India may still be a few years from becoming polio-free, but good news is in from UP and Bihar. The latest epidemiological data suggest that transmission of the P1 virus from the core endemic area of western UP has stopped and the area itself has remained free of the virus for a record year-and-a-half till mid-2008. Bihar, in turn, has reported just three cases of polio last year, and this is being considered an all-time low.
The data, published in a World Health Organisation (WHO) report for the Indian government, state that “UP interrupted P1 transmission during late 2006 early 2007 following intensive immunisation rounds using the more efficacious monovalent oral polio vaccine type 1 (moPV1). These results are owing to intensified efforts by the government in the aftermath of the 2006 outbreak, when 676 cases of polio were registered, of which 648 were of the P1 virus.” There are two kinds of polio viruses, P3 and P1, of which the former is milder. A majority of the P3 cases in India last year were in UP (228) and Bihar (226). Most of the cases were reported in the first quarter of 2008 and represent the tail end of the outbreak of 2007. Since then the incidence of P3 infections has been declining. Last year, there were 465 cases nationwide—down from 794 in 2007. Read more at http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20090126&fname=Polio+(F)&sid=1