82 polio cases reported in 2008: minister

February 27th, 2008 - 8:32 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) A total of 82 polio cases have been registered in the country this year, of which 69 were reported from Bihar alone, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare P. Lakshmi said here Wednesday. Till Feb 22 this year, Uttar Pradesh, the hotbed of polio in the country, reported 12 cases, while one case was reported from Haryana, Lakshmi said in the Lok Sabha.

In 2007, a total of 864 cases were reported in India, of which 495 were from Bihar, while 339 cases occurred in Uttar Pradesh, she said. In 2006, 676 cases were reported in the country.

Last year, there was a sharp fall in polio type 1, the most dangerous strain that spreads fast in an area, the minister pointed out.

“Polio type 1 cases have not been reported from the endemic districts of western Uttar Pradesh for more than one year. Polio type 1 circulation in Bihar is also restricted to a small proportion of blocks that have operational difficulties that got worse during the floods,” she said.

Lakshmi said they were able to fight the virus as they shifted their vaccination strategy by focusing first on wiping the type 1 strain.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is conducting two studies to determine prevalence of poliovirus antibodies in children of Moradabad district, from where the polio spread to other areas in 2006.

Another study will determine prevalence of poliovirus antibodies in non-polio affected children in the age group of five years in 24 districts of western Uttar Pradesh, she said.

To keep a check on the virus, the health ministry is also identifying migratory population from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and who are now living in Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.

The children of the migratory population are also being immunized, she said.

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