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Global Eradication of Poliomyelitis and Measles: Another Quiet Revolution

Ciro A. de Quadros, MD, MPH
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Pan American Health Organization Washington, DC 20037 Requests for Reprints: Ciro A. de Quadros, MD, MPH, Pan American Health Organization, 525 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037-2895.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1997;127(2):156-158. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-127-2-199707150-00012
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In September 1985, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) targeted poliomyelitis for eradication from the Americas by 1990 [1]. To achieve this eradication, a strategy aimed at rapidly interrupting chains of transmission was implemented; methods included routine administration of oral poliomyelitis vaccine and national immunization days. The national immunization days, along with surveillance for persons with acute flaccid paralysis and laboratory tests to detect wild poliovirus in the stools of these persons, proved to be key components of the strategy to eradicate poliomyelitis. Another key component was house-to-house mop-up operations done to administer oral poliomyelitis vaccine to persons in the few municipalities in which poliomyelitis was still prevalent [2].

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