Thanks to vaccinations, cases of polio, a highly contagious viral disease that can cause lifelong paralysis and death, have not occurred in the Czech Republic for 60 years.
Vaccination against the polio virus that causes the disease is mandatory in the Czech Republic, children are protected from the first months of life. Although the number of countries where the poliovirus is maintained has decreased significantly thanks to vaccination programs, according to the State Institute of Health, it still appears, for example, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Many people believe that polio no longer exists. Unfortunately, this is not true. Today, there are up to 15 million people living in all parts of the world, from infants to the 90s, who have survived polio,” said Kateřina Fabiánová of the Center for Epidemiology, and Microbiology. For example, this October, polio occurred in a 17-month-old girl who was not vaccinated in Ukraine. It is estimated that up to 11 million people in Europe are not vaccinated against polio.
“Given the global situation and the ongoing transmission of the wild poliovirus in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the possibility of re-entry of the disease can never be completely ruled out. Anti-epidemic measures, including vaccination, are therefore still important. consequences,” asserts Barbora Macková, director of the State Institute of Public Health.
In 1988, only 10 percent of the world’s children were living without polio, in 2016 more than 95 percent. “Worldwide, the total number of cases resulting in paralysis has fallen from more than 350,000 in 1985 to 140 reported in 2020,” the State Institute of Public Health said.
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