Polio Re-enters Equatorial Guinea

The eradication of the poliovirus suffered another setback. In the past, I have discussed the number of countries still harboring the virus and the threat that spill over events pose to neighboring nations. 

So in recent weeks, Equatorial Guinea, a country that hasn't had a polio case in over a decade has reported one.

The sequence of the virus isolated indicates it came from Cameroon (where 3 cases have occurred in 2014). The threat of these spillovers is reinforced because the Cameroon cases which began in 2013 were the result of spillover from cases in Chad which were themselves spillovers from Nigeria, where the disease remains. 

So, the current scoreboard is 37 cases--a case count higher versus this time last year--in 5 countries. The Big Three: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria remain the heads of the polio hydra that urgently need decapitation.