China – one year polio-free

Model response stopped 2011 outbreak in record time

20121009_ChinaStory
Vaccinating children at a road intersection WHO/WPRO

9 October 2012 marks 12-months since China’s last polio case had onset of paralysis. In 2011, polio from Pakistan had infected China to cause an outbreak in southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. China had previously been polio-free since 1999 when an importation from India had occurred. The last indigenous polio case dates back to 1994.

Immediately upon detecting the outbreak, the Government of China mounted what can only be described as a true model response, mobilizing every sector of the government and civil society. China’s rigorous response succeeded in stopping the outbreak in record-time – within just three months from index to last polio case. Thanks to such decisive actions, it is anticipated that the Western Pacific Region will be able to maintain its polio-free certified status. Much more important than that, however: this model response saved lives and prevented further people from being affected by the devastating, life-long effects of polio. More

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