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October 25, 2000

Low Rate of Seropositivity to Poliovirus Among Teenagers in Myanmar: A Potential Pocket for Polio

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(16):2058-2059. doi:10.1001/jama.284.16.2053

To the Editor: Since their inception in 1996, National Immunization Days (NIDs) in Myanmar have reportedly provided oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) to more than 95% of the target population (those younger than 5 years).1 In conjunction with this, nationwide surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) began shortly after the completion of the initial NIDs. In 1999, wild-type poliomyelitis virus was detected for the first time in 4 patients with AFP, aged 8 to 23 months, who lived in a state bordering Bangladesh.2,3 This might be seen as a sign of improvement in AFP surveillance, which has been a priority in Myanmar, especially in difficult-to-reach parts of the country. However, the overall seroprevalence of poliomyelitis in Myanmar is still unknown.

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