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Lowest number of polio cases in Jan-June period in a decade

India has reported the lowest number of polio cases in January-June period this year in a decade apparently due to the Centre`s decision to introduce the new Bivalent Oral Polio vaccine.



New Delhi: India has reported the lowest
number of polio cases in January-June period this year in a
decade apparently due to the Centre`s decision to introduce
the new Bivalent Oral Polio vaccine.

Only 24 cases have been detected between January to June
compared to last year when it was 151 around the same time,
while in 2008 the figures till June were 317.

The delayed monsoon seems to have worked in government`s
favour which received lot of flak last year after the total
number of cases reached 741, almost 200 more cases than 2008.

"We were never so optimistic. The new vaccine has worked
well so far as it is effective on both P1 and P3 forms
compared to the oral polio vaccines (OPV) which were helping
keep only P1 low but were not very effective on P3," said Dr
Naveen Thacker, expert on government`s polio advisory panel.

The health ministry is keeping its fingers crossed as the
numbers usually shoot up during the monsoon season. A senior
health ministry official said, "So far the trend shows that
the virus is under check. But it is too early to celebrate as
between July to August the number of cases usually shoot up as
the moist weather is better suited for the polio virus".

Of the total cases detected this year, six are of P1 and
18 of P3 type. P1 is the more virulent type of virus compared
to P3 which does not spread that fast.

Maharashtra (Nasik), Jammu-Kashmir (Jammu) and Uttar
Pradesh have reported one each case of P1 so far while three
have been detected from West Bengal, the most recent one at
Murshidabad.

Most of the P3 cases have been found in Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar. Sixteen districts in the country are still in the grip
of polio virus while globally, 501 cases have been detected so
far from 16 countries.

BOPV was introduced in India for the first time under the
national immunisation programme from January this year in the
high risk areas like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh -- the two
endemic states for wild polio virus where the indigenous
transmission is still continuing.

-PTI

From Zee News

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