India is Polio free now? Nah, it's just a new name - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Polio, often thought of as synonymous with paralysis and disability, has been given a new name in India. It is now known as AFP or acute flaccid paralysis. This and the fact that cases of polio caused by the oral polio vaccine (OPV) are not being reflected as polio have ensured that India is into its second year of “polio free” status. After this charade is maintained for one more year, India will be certified by the WHO as “polio free” and will be showcased as a success story of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative that was launched in 1988 by the World Health Assembly.
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#2 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 09:38 AM
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That's weird... but it seems more like a public policy debate than a vaccine debate. AFP is noted in Canada as well but as an outcome of polio... and has been certified as polio-free since 1994. 

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#3 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 11:18 AM
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Not all afp is related to polio. I am highly skeptical of the claims that polio has just been renamed, but they're nothing if not pernicious.
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#4 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 11:30 AM
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Children who develop afp are further screened for polio. That's little comfort to people who think various groups are conspiring to cover up polio diagnosis, of course. I found this article very informative on afp, polio surveillance, and possible explanations for the increase.

Sounds like a lot more follow up is needed for non-polio afp cases.

Let the usual scoffing commence.
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#5 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 11:36 AM
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Here's some information on the screening and investigation that takes place when an afp case is reported.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 12:51 PM
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Through background reading I did on this thread:


I found the Indian Polio monitoring website, which publishes regular bulletins on AFP and polio:


There you can see which fraction of the AFP cases in different states in India were lab tested for polio, how many tested positive, and how many were declared non-polio AFP. 


For example in Bihar in March 2013 there were 346 cases of AFP identified. In 2012 in that same state there were 15874 cases, 86% were tested for polio within 14 days and 98% were tested at some point. 


As we talked about on the other thread it is wierd that two states (including Bihar above, but also Utar Pradesh) have such high AFP rates (which translate to high NAFP rates as none have test positive for polio in the last 2 years). There is a self published (on the internet) study which claims this is linked to the numbers of doses of the OPV (I think the claim is those  states got more OPV boosters because of high AFP rates), but I was unable to find where the person got the numbers of doses from. See the thread for more on that if you're interested and/or feel like searching more. I gave up. 

Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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