Paul Lachine

Ist eine Ausmerzung von Polio wünschenswert?

PHILADELPHIA – In diesem Jahr ist in Zentralasien die Kinderlähmung ausgebrochen, mit 560 registrierten Fällen in Usbekistan, offenbar übertragen von infizierten Personen ohne erkennbare Krankheitssymptome, die aus Tadschikistan einreisten.

Der Ausbruch in Tadschikistan ist besonders besorgniserregend, weil das Land von der Weltgesundheitsorganisation bereits zur poliofreien Region erklärt worden war. Die Bemühungen, Polio auszumerzen, kann die ganze Welt gefährden, wie die Tragödie in Tadschikistan zeigt. Es ist sinnlos, über die Ausmerzung von Krankheiten wie der Kinderlähmung zu sprechen, wenn ein kleiner Ausbruch in einem entlegenen Teil der Welt sich schnell ausbreiten und Milliarden gefährden kann.

Das Szenarium ist mitnichten rein hypothetisch. Die westliche Hemisphäre ist vor 20 Jahren als poliofrei erklärt worden, aber noch 2000 gab es Fälle auf Haiti und der Dominikanischen Republik. In einer amischen Gemeinde in Minnesota gab es 2005 vier Fälle, und viele andere wurden in den vergangenen Jahren unter anderem in Angola, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenia, Benin, Indien, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan registriert.

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