DRC: A Stubborn Hitch in Polio’s Endgame

In defiance of public health efforts to stamp out polio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it keeps spreading—paralyzing 29 children, and reaching Uganda’s border. 
 
DRC’s outbreak is derived from the oral polio vaccine, not the wild virus. High-risk districts received the new monovalent OPV type 2 vaccine, deemed capable of stopping an outbreak without launching a new one—but vaccination campaigns have had to fight through the country’s weakened infrastructure and health system.
 
If it can’t be suppressed, OPV2 might have to be reintroduced into routine immunization, CDC molecular virologist Mark Pallansch said—“turning back the eradication clock years and ratcheting up costs.”

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