Before Syria's civil war began in 2011, some 95% of children were vaccinated against the disease.
highlighted last year by a worrying article in Science: a research team at the State University of New York in Stony Brook chemically synthesized an artificial polio virus from scratch (Cello et al., 2002). They started with the genetic sequence of the agent, which is available online, ordered small, tailor-made DNA sequences and combined them to reconstruct the complete viral genome. In a final step, the synthesized DNA was brought to life by adding a chemical cocktail that initiated the production of a living, pathogenic virus.
Saw this on the RSOE rss feed a couple of days ago, but didn't think of it in the way you presented. Interesting to say the least.
Raises quite a few questions.
Very interesting proposal. I would be highly skeptical of this not being manufactured to do just what you are saying. If this is the case and it does come back to any outside nation doing this, this would be a HUGE incentive for a war.
As was mentioned, Syria routinely vaccinated it's children up until a couple of years ago.
Therefore the polio virus will only affect quite young children who haven't been vaccinated.
I would be surprised if these young children would have any impact whatsoever on the fighting abilities of either side.
Given that there are a lot of fighters being brought in from countries like Pakistan where polio is endemic means that the poor kids are destined to get it.
Aside from the warring, this highlights to me just how easily a dangerous disease can gain momentum by a slip in vaccinations.
The aid group Save the Children urged a “vaccination cease-fire” to try to prevent an epidemic of the highly contagious disease.
Vaccine-Caused Polio on the Rise
Another fact that may surprise you is that the vaccine itself is the source of newer cases of this disease. At the same time that world health officials are declaring a victory on polio in India, they are calling a global meeting in Switzerland on the problem of vaccine-caused polio.
The problem is that while the oral vaccine has reined in wild polio, the wild virus is being replaced by vaccine-derived polio virus (VDPV), which causes acute flaccid paralysis. (Health officials don't call it polio because it isn't "wild.") The international meeting, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Japanese Ministry of Health, is scheduled for May 30-June 1, 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Is polio still a disease seen in the United States?
The last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the United States were in 1979, when an outbreak occurred among the Amish in several Midwestern states. From 1980 through 1999, there were 162 confirmed cases of paralytic polio cases reported. Of the 162 cases, eight cases were acquired outside the United States and imported. The last imported case caused by wild poliovirus into the United States was reported in 1993. The remaining 154 cases were vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) caused by live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).
◾April 14, 2012
Cases of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis, better known as AFP, has sharply increased with the increase in the administration of oral polio vaccination (OPV) in the country under the much-acclaimed polio eradication programme.
According to a report by Dr. Neetu Vashisht and Dr. Jacob Puliyel, appearing in the April-June issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, the incidence of non-polio AFP had gone up by 12 times over and above the normal rates with the onset of the administration OPV 10 years ago. The report appeared at a time when Kerala is getting prepared for another round of OPV on April 15.
Dr. Neetu Vashisht and Dr. Jacob Puliyel of St. Stephens Hospital created the report after analyzing data from India’s 10-year-old National Polio Surveillance Project, which is available online. Their findings, which were published in the Indian Journal of medical Ethics, revealed that rates of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) have increased 1200% since the oral polio vaccine was introduced to India a decade ago.