• Vol. 34 No. 10, 593–594
  • 15 November 2005

Infectious Disease Eradication: Poliomyelitis as a Lesson in Why “Close” is Not Good Enough



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The current polio epidemic in Indonesia is a reminder that infectious agents know no political or race boundaries. Like most of the world, this country was polio-free and prior to this outbreak, there were only 6 countries with endemic polio: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Niger and Egypt.1 The outbreak in Indonesia began in March 2005 and to date, in excess of 225 children have been paralysed due to imported poliovirus. 2 The infections were initially in 2 provinces on Java but have spread to involve Jakarta, as well as Sumatra and Central Java.

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