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小儿麻痹症多发 为全球公共卫生突发事件

2014-05-06    来源:每日邮报    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

据英国《每日邮报》5月5日报道,由于小儿麻痹症在世界多地爆发,世界卫生组织当天宣布其为全球公共卫生突发事件。

UN say spread of Polio is 'World health emergency' as disease spreads through Asia, Africa and Middle East

Agency described current polio outbreaks as an 'extraordinary event'

It said the problem could grow significantly in the next few months
 
Polio usually strikes children and is spread via infected water

Experts are worried that cases could spike in the coming months

The spread of polio around the world has become so serious it is now an international public health emergency, the World Health Organization warned today.

The agency said the problem could grow in the next few months and unravel the nearly three-decade effort to eradicate the crippling disease.

It described current polio outbreaks in Asia, Africa and the Middle East as an 'extraordinary event' that required a coordinated international response. It was the first-ever international alert on polio.

'Until it is eradicated, polio will continue to spread internationally, find and paralyze susceptible kids,' Dr Bruce Aylward, who leads WHO's polio efforts.

Polio usually strikes children under five and is most often spread via infected water. There is no specific cure, but several vaccines exist.

Experts are particularly concerned that the virus continues to pop up in countries that were previously free of the disease, such as Syria, Somalia and Iraq - where civil war or unrest complicates efforts to contain the virus.

That spread has happened during the traditionally low season for polio spreading, leaving experts worried that cases could spike in the coming months.

Last week, WHO convened an emergency committee to decide whether the current polio outbreaks - in at least 10 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa - merit the declaration of an international health emergency.

A Pakistani health worker gives a child a polio vaccine at the door way of his home, while going house to house checking on children who need the vaccine, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Today decision means numerous measures will be adopted, including requiring people from countries exporting polio cases to have a certificate of polio vaccination before being able to travel internationally. Those measures will be reviewed in three months, the WHO said.

At the end of April, there were 68 confirmed polio cases, compared with just 24 at the same time last year. In 2013, polio reappeared in Syria, sparking fears the civil unrest there could ignite a wider outbreak across the region.

The virus has also been identified in the sewage system in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, although no cases have been spotted.

In February, WHO found that polio had also returned to Iraq. It is already circulating in eight other countries: Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Somalia and Kenya.

An independent monitoring board set up by WHO to assess progress in eradicating polio has described the problems as 'unprecedented' and called the situation in Pakistan 'a powder keg'.

Dozens of Pakistani polio workers have been killed in the last two years and the vast majority of new cases are in Pakistan.

There is some distrust of polio vaccinations in Pakistan since American forces located Osama bin Laden there using information gained in part under the guise of polio vaccinations.

Officials also worry countries torn by conflict, such as Ukraine, Sudan and the Central African Republic, are rife for polio reinfection.

Some critics say it may even be time to accept that polio may not be eradicated, since the deadline to wipe out the disease has already been missed several times. The ongoing effort costs about $1 billion a year.

'For the past two years, problems have steadily, and now rapidly mounted,' said Dr Donald Henderson, in an email.

Henderson led WHO's initiative to get rid of smallpox, the only disease ever to have been eradicated.

'It is becoming apparent that there are too many problems (for the polio eradication effort) to overcome, however many resources are assigned.'

But Aylward said WHO and its partners aren't yet considering pushing back their latest deadline — by 2018 — to eradicate polio.

Still, the independent board monitoring the progress being made on polio is not so convinced and has called for the program to be completely overhauled.

'Few involved in (polio eradication) can give a clear account of how decisions are made,' concluded a recent report by the group.

'If a billion-dollar global business missed its major goal several times, it would be inconceivable that it would not revisit and revise its organizational and decision-making structure.'

相关介绍:

小儿麻痹症目前在亚洲、非洲、中东的至少10个国家爆发。4月底新发现68例小儿麻痹症病例,而去年同期只有24例。

世卫组织称需要全球协作应对,这也是该病症的首次全球警告。由于此次爆发的时间是在传统上该病症的低发季,因此专家担心未来几个月患者数量会猛增。

小儿麻痹症通常发生在5岁以下的孩童身上,大多数通过感染了的水源传播。目前没有特别的治疗方式,但是有数种疫苗。

专家们担心该病会在没有先例的国家发生,比如叙利亚、索马里、伊拉克,这些地区因为内战或动乱而难以采取有效遏制措施。

另外,叙利亚于2013年发现了该病毒,该病毒同样出现在以色列及约旦河西岸和加沙地带的下水道管网中,但目前没有确诊病例。2013年,新发病例则出现在如下九个国家:伊拉克、巴基斯坦、尼日利亚、埃塞俄比亚、阿富汗、赤道几内亚、喀麦隆、索马里和肯尼亚。

世卫组织5日决定将采取一系列措施应对,其中包括要求病症来源国的人若去往其它国家必须提供已注射疫苗的证明,世卫组织将在三个月内对这些措施进行评估。

目前每年约有10亿美元花费在根除小儿麻痹症的工作上。尽管数年来世卫组织多次表示要根除该病症,但都没有达到目标。最近一次定下2018年为最后期限,但有人认为该病症或许无法根除。事实上迄今为止只有天花被彻底根除。



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