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India Frees Itself of Polio 309

An anonymous reader writes "It's been three years since the last recorded polio case in India and health officials hope to officially certify India polio free in the next few weeks. 'Hamid Jafari, director of the WHO's polio-eradication campaign, says the agency's ambitious quest to stop all polio transmission by the end of 2014 is now within reach. If that is achieved, and no new cases crop up for three years, polio—like smallpox—will be officially banished from the planet. "India was one of the most important sources" from where the virus spread to other countries, said Dr. Jafari.'"
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India Frees Itself of Polio

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  • Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:05AM (#45936997)
    These are fantastic news!
  • it'll be back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @03:15AM (#45937049)
    Given the epidemic of stupid parents that refuse to immunise children nowadays it should not be long till many of the old virus's and diseases rear their ugly heads again.
  • by shri ( 17709 ) <shriramc@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday January 13, 2014 @04:00AM (#45937207) Homepage

    As much as everyone likes to hate Bill Gates - India and a number of other countries owe him (and the global Rotary community) for helping in this effort. More on End Polio [].

  • Re:it'll be back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday January 13, 2014 @04:03AM (#45937215) Homepage Journal

    The CIA came up with a clever ruse

    The CIA endangers everybody on the planet with their little game(s) - 'clever' could only be applied superficially.

  • Re:it'll be back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @05:04AM (#45937429) Journal
    I hoped that the context of my being ashamed to mention it made it clear how much I didn't approve of putting infectious disease control in the line of fire.

    I'd say, though, that you might be more accurate to say that it's a myopically clever plan, rather than a superficially clever one. Within the narrow, barely relevant, context of 'so, we need a DNA sample from a well guarded private compound in a country where most of the locals hate our guts and going through the official channels would mean somebody tipping off our suspect within hours, any ideas?' A fake vaccination program is among the better available answers.

    In the broader context of the fact that there's never been a man alive nearly as dangerous as some second rate infectious diseases, it's about the dumbest answer imaginable. (Extra demerits awarded for hampering control of polio, which is right on the edge of being finally eradicated, and for doing so in a region where any remaining infections are atypically likely to spread via the more downmarket Hajj trips to assorted other areas where vaccination programs are nontrivial).

    Somehow, none of this is terribly out of character for the CIA, unfortunately.
  • by DarwinSurvivor ( 1752106 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @05:30AM (#45937505)
    Don't make a claim and then expect the skeptics to find your evidence for you.
  • Re:Not so fast ! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @05:31AM (#45937515)

    Yes, Islam is helping to make Polio a permanent fixture to the human race.

    The former two catholic popes did similar stuff with condoms and HIV in Africa and South America. I hope this one has more common sense.

    Funny, I can't remember the last pope murdering health workers. Even if he did - does that make it right for Muslims to do it too?

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @06:23AM (#45937705)

    "Well-educated" implies, among other things, the ability to rationally think about one's own religion.

    Fact: Many Islamic Terrorists were college educated ! []

    "We examined the educational backgrounds of 75 terrorists behind some of the most significant recent terrorist attacks against Westerners. We found that a majority of them are college-educated, often in technical subjects like engineering. In the four attacks for which the most complete information about the perpetrators' educational levels is available - the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the 9/11 attacks, and the Bali bombings in 2002 - 53 percent of the terrorists had either attended college or had received a college degree"

    The 1993 attack on World Trade Center

    "The 1993 World Trade Center attack involved 12 men, all of whom had a college education"

    Of the 9/11 attack

    "The 9/11 pilots, as well as the secondary planners identified by the 9/11 commission, all attended Western universities, a prestigious and elite endeavor for anyone from the Middle East. Indeed, the lead 9/11 pilot, Mohamed Atta, had a degree from a German university in, of all things, urban preservation, while the operational planner of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, studied engineering in North Carolina . We also found that two-thirds of the 25 hijackers and planners involved in 9/11 had attended college"

    They were educated in colleges in America as well as in Europe. If they still can't THINK RATIONALLY after getting their college education in WESTERN UNIVERSITIES, who is to blame ?

    The Western Universities or that bloody religion of Islam ?

    Some people's thinking is so strange. Muslims with a University education commit acts of terrorism. Muslims without a University education commit acts of terrorism. So ... lets redefine "well educated" to mean thinking critically about religion and claim that the common factor is that "uneducated" commit acts of terrorism

  • Don't worry... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:00AM (#45938231)

    Don't worry, Jenny McCarthy will be over with a horde of uneducated soccer moms to fuck it all up for you soon enough.

  • by gnoshi ( 314933 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:01AM (#45938235)

    Citation 1: a lot of people have been vaccinated
    Citation 2: it has cost lost of monies
    Citation 3: it cost the US some monies too
    Citation 4: oh, and some of Bill's monies also
    Citation 5: Rotary too
    Citation 6: new WHO name-and-shame policy
    Citation 7, 8: an acronym exists which no-one knows the origin of ...
    Citation 22: Bill really, really wants polio gone. Seriously, he's been campaigning. ...
    Citation 25: the first kind of relevant one to their claims, but doesn't actually seem to say what they say it does
    Citation 26: Provides alternative explanation for their interpretation of Citation 25
    Citation 27-28: Don't actually speak to the possible relationship and vaccine at all, but rather say that NPAFP is more dangerous than polio (loosely)
    Citation 29: my personal favorite. Data which shows that in regions with number of doses, and cases of NPAFP. The winning characteristic is certainly that the claimed result is true, if you cherry-pick the regions for which it is true. i.e. if you look over all the regions and across times then you do find what they claim in two regions: the ones they present.

    I'm winding it up there. The first of the 40 citations which is really relevant to the claimed connection between the vaccine and NPAFP is citation 29.
    Citations 31+ likewise appear to not actually lend any support to the claim of an association between the vaccine and NPAFP, but rather point out that India has high rates of NPAFP (which is consistent with some of these being caused by enteroviruses spread via the fecal-oral route).

    In summary: the paper remains bollocks, and virtually all of the 40 citations actually have 3/8 of FA to do with supporting their claim.

  • Re:it'll be back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @10:29AM (#45938945) Homepage

    This is definitely the biggest problem with vaccines. Their very success is their biggest weakness. As people don't personally remember diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, etc, they mentally minimize the severity of it. Whooping cough? Sounds like you just have a bad cough for a week or two and then you're fine, right? Then they hear FUD about vaccines that leads to them mentally overestimating the risk of the vaccines. Before you know it you have a person who is thinking of injecting their child with this horrible mix of highly dangerous chemicals just to prevent their child from maybe coughing for a few days. They make the perfectly rational (in their mind, given their flawed assumptions) decision to forego vaccinations.

    Sadly, the people who suffer are children like Dana Elizabeth McCaffery [] who die because they were too young to get the vaccine or people who have valid medical reasons for not getting the vaccine (immune system issues, allergies, etc). These people rely on the rest of us keeping herd immunity up. As the anti-vax movement grows, herd immunity breaks down and more people will die. The good news is that, as more people die, the anti-vax movement should be self-limiting. Who's going to seriously listen to Jenny McCarthy railing about vaccines if a hundred thousand people come down with measles? The bad news is that many, many people will get sick and either die or suffer permanent injury from vaccine-preventable diseases before this happens.

  • Re:Not so fast ! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @11:24AM (#45939487)

    The Roman Catholic church has these fellows called "Priests", who actually expect all good Catholics to confess their specific sins, and recieve counseling and do penance for each one as set by the priest. It often defaults to a scoring system, where sex gets you points, then planning for the sex in advance by buying condoms gets you more. Some people therefore feel less guilty, and are treated as officially less guilty, if they can say they didn't plan the sex in advance, it just happened. Since the sex itself can be a powerful motivator, doing the least 'sins' that still result in the reward is often the choice, instead of 'not sinning' at all.
                The question is, even under RC doctrine, why is sex a sin and doing something that indicates you planned it in advance a greater sin, instead of sex itself being a sin, but trying to reduce bad consequences such as disease spread to yourself OR YOUR PARTNER not a sin? Why is it assumed that using a condom is either to avoid preganacy (again, itself a sin), or to protect only yourself from the "God given consequences" of sin, but never out of genuine feeling for your partner? Why are priests specifically trained to discount that possibility?

  • by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Monday January 13, 2014 @12:34PM (#45940383)

    In many dioceses the Church also makes selling or giving away condoms a sin. Healthcare workers are also forbidden from recommending condoms for birth control. Marriages that cannot be "correctly" consummated, e.g. one partner has HIV so barriers must be used, are not considered valid.

    It's not money and comfort, it's power that attracts many people to the priesthood. Power over parishioners in the case of the parish priest, or really enormous power over the political process affecting the lives of millions when they reach the position of archbishop or cardinal.

  • Re:Not so fast ! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @01:49PM (#45941257)

    Due to the Church's influence, condom supplies are limited, and even the idea of teaching people about contraceptives is often forbidden.

    People generally can figure out sex on their own, the usage of condoms, or the reasons for them? Takes a bit more work.

    Or do you think they had no influence?

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