As mentioned in the last blog post, India has gone one full year without a single polio case, thanks in large part to an army of volunteer vaccinators that fanned out to vaccinate children throughout India. Similar mass vaccination efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan- the two remaining polio endemic countries- have made headway in the past, giving people hope that worldwide eradication of polio is near. But, as reported yesterday in the New York Times, polio cases are on the rise since last year in both countries.
In Afghanistan the number of cases tripled, from 25 cases in 2010 to 76 cases last year. The number of cases may seem small, but health experts warn that since polio is highly contagious, an increase in the number of cases is something to be concerned about. The good news is that polio vaccination teams will continue to operate in Afghanistan, despite suggestions that security threats are preventing teams from doing their work.
You can read more about the situation in Afghanistan, including quotes from government and international health officials, in the New York Times article linked here.