Paul Lachine

¿Es conveniente erradicar la polio?

FILADELFIA – Este año hubo un brote de poliomielitis en Asia Central con 560 casos registrados en Tayikistán. Se han diagnosticado más casos en Rusia y Uzbekistán, en los que al parecer la enfermedad ha sido transmitida por personas infectadas pero asintomáticas de Tayikistán.

El brote en Tayikistán es particularmente inquietante porque la Organización Mundial de la Salud había certificado a ese país como zona libre de poliomielitis. De hecho, la campaña para erradicar la polio, como muestra la tragedia de Tayikistán, podría poner a todo el mundo en peligro. No tiene sentido hablar de erradicar enfermedades como la polio si un pequeño brote en una parte remota del mundo se puede propagar rápidamente y poner en riesgo a miles de millones de personas.

No se trata de una situación hipotética. El hemisferio occidental fue certificado como zona libre de polio hace veinte años, pero recientemente, en 2000, ha habido casos en Haití y en República Dominicana. Se informaron de 4 personas infectadas en la comunidad amish de Minessota en 2005, y muchos otros casos se han registrado en años recientes en Angola, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenia, Benín, la India, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistán, Sudán y en otros lugares.

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