Polio now reappearing in Europe!
An increasing number of families have chosen to take charge of their infants' and childrens' immunization schedule in recent years. As a result, a growing number of infants and children in the United States, and here, in Greater Cleveland, are not immunized against polio.
We are very disturbed to pass along this very upsetting news: over 476 cases of wild polio virus infection have appeared in over 53 countries in the WHO European Region. This Region had been free of all polio cases for over 8 years!
Although massive world efforts to eradicate polio came very close to succeeding even as recently as 1-2 years ago, many West African countries have slipped in their polio coverage as a result of Islamic preachers alleging that polio immunization was a Western anti-Islamic plot. With polio immunization rates dropping in West Africa, polio rates have climbed dramatically and cases of the dread disease are spreading across many countries in Africa.
This report from the World Health Organization (WHO), demonstrates that what has been feared now is happening. People traveling from Africa to Europe have spread polio cases to Europe.
This posting is raising an alarm here since there is no reason why the same cannot happen here in the US and Ohio.
Any infant or child who has not received a full polio immunization program can get polio if it spreads to our region. And, there is no reason why it cannot spread to our region.
Advanced Pediatrics urges all parents who have chosen not to protect their children against polio to reconsider their decision. Polio is no longer a distant, theoretical risk, it could happen, and at anytime.
If your child or infant does not have full protection against polio now, please arrange for that to be done as soon as possible.
Dr. Arthur Lavin
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