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Canada: Niagara Rotarians to hit the streets to fight polio | The Standard.

[Mon., Oct. 12, 2020]

Gord Howard

Gord Howard writes:

Niagara Rotary Club members are taking a short ride in hopes of wiping out a big illness.

About 60 members will join in Pedal for Polio on Oct. 24, a fundraiser that starts at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls and ends in Niagara-on-the-Lake, likely near Fort George.

Rotary International took on the task of eradicating polio in 1985. Back then, about 1,000 new cases were being reported every day across 122 countries, says Frank Adamson, a Rotarian from Fonthill and governor of District 7090, which comprises 66 clubs across Ontario and New York state.

“We’re now down to two countries and under 100 new cases in a year. That’s Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he says.

“So we’ve completely wiped it out everywhere else.”

Polio is caused by a virus that affects the spinal cord, causing paralysis. But fighting that illness is more difficult this year because of another illness, COVID-19.

This is a new event and Adamson, a cyclist, hoped Rotary clubs in Niagara and on the U.S. side could ride together. But the closed border prevents that.

So across the river, about 45 American members will hold their own ride Oct. 24, while here in Niagara roughly 60 members will split into three groups for their trip. Social gathering rules are stricter here than over there.

Noting it’s only about a 25-kilometre route, Adamson says, “It’s not so much the ride, it’s the symbolism — we’re pedalling for polio.”

The Rotary district he oversees includes Niagara, Hamilton, Brant County, Brantford and Haldimand-Norfolk in Ontario and stretches as far as Jamestown, N.Y., near the Pennsylvania border and Hawley, N.Y., a half-hour west of Rochester.

With about 2,000 members, the goal for the ride is to raise $200,000 — “that’s basically every Rotarian in the district giving $50 … and then trying to find a few other friends or family who would do another $50,” Adamson says.

“The real benefit of this is the multiplier effect, so whatever we give, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (has pledged to) double. So a thousand dollars becomes three thousand dollars, just like that.”

This year’s Pedal for Polio is modelled on another, longer ride Rotary members did three times in previous years when they cycled around Lake Ontario to raise about $250,000 for Wellspring Niagara, the cancer support centre.

All of Africa has been declared polio-free, Adamson says, now it’s only present in the two remaining countries.

“But as with COVID-19, it’s only a plane ride away from starting all over again. So we have to completely wipe it out,” he says.

To donate to Pedal for Polio, go online to raise.rotary.org.


Original Source Article »

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Podcast & Video: TWiV 671: Prizes, polio, and a pandemic puzzle | This Week in Virology.

[October 11, 2020]

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical report on COVID-19, then Amy joins us to discuss the 2020 Chemistry Nobel Prize for gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9, continuing circulation of poliovirus in Afghanistan, inborn errors of interferon in patients with severe COVID-19, and listener questions.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit

Guests: Daniel Griffin and Amy Rosenfeld

Watch 'virtual roundtable'; discussion on YouTube video [2:50:02]: https://youtu.be/09Wh5P-aEmY

or

Listen to Podcast via source article

or

Download TWiV 671 (102 MB .mp3, 170 min)
Subscribe (free): iTunesGoogle PodcastsRSSemail

Become a patron of TWiV!

Links for this episode.

Weekly Science Picks.

Amy – Coronavirus : A book for children by Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts
Alan – Lost Prologue
Rich – RAPS COVID-19 vaccine tracker
Vincent – A Crack in Creation by Doudna and Sternberg and Sternberg on TWiM 184

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

Send your virology questions and comments to twiv@microbe.tv


Original Source Article »

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After Covid-19 shutdown, Lahore’s fightback against polio begins | The National UAE.

[Oct 11, 2020]

Pakistan's vast effort to stamp out the crippling childhood disease was put on hold in March due to the pandemic.

A boy gets his finger marked after he is administered polio vaccine drops in Karachi, Pakistan. Reuters
A boy gets his finger marked after he is administered polio vaccine drops in Karachi, Pakistan. Reuters.

Ben Farmer writes:

Rania Bibi had spent four years administering polio drops in the backstreets of Lahore's Ravi Town neighbourhood before Covid-19 paused her life-saving work.

Pakistan's vast effort to stamp out the crippling childhood disease was put on hold in March amid fears door-to-door polio vaccination would spread the new coronavirus.

The break to her duties could not have come at a more difficult time. While the world in August celebrated the eradication of wild poliovirus from Africa, the news from its final two haunts of Pakistan and Afghanistan has been grimmer.

Cases rose sharply in 2019 and international monitors gave the programme a severe review for poor performance. Then just as efforts were being overhauled and redoubled, Covid-19 stepped in and shut them down.

It was while she was on this enforced break that Ms Bibi received the awful news that a toddler on her vaccination patch had caught polio and died.

“I cried when I heard he had died,” she told The National.

The death of 26-month-old Muhammad Ali in July was all the more disheartening because it was not the first in Ravi Town in 2020.

Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province, had until recently appeared clear of polio after enormous efforts to vaccinate the young inhabitants. After recording a case in 2011, the city remained disease-free.

By 2018, the whole of Pakistan seemed on the verge of eradicating the childhood scourge. Health officials recorded only 12 cases in the whole of that year.

Yet on the cusp of a historic public health victory, the trend instead reversed. Last year saw 147 cases nationwide, including five in Lahore, and sewage samples show the virus is widespread.

An independent board of eminent public health doctors which monitors the global eradication campaign recently criticised the “jaw-dropping slump of performance”.

The board led by Sir Liam Donaldson, formerly England's chief medical officer, warned that unless Pakistan managed to shake up and turn around its programme within six months “the wheels will come off the Pakistan bus”.

With the pandemic, fortunately, having subsided in Pakistan, at least for now, the country's army of health workers resumed nationwide door-to-door campaigns late last month.

Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar, national co-ordinator for the campaign, admits there were “challenges” in 2019. Complacency had set in and political rifts were undermining efforts. The poorest resent the time and investment given to a polio campaign when the government will not provide even clean water or electricity. Most worrying has been a stubborn level of suspicion and conspiracy theory directed at the drops. Long-standing accusations that the campaign is a western plot to sterilise Muslims, or that the drops are otherwise harmful, have been fed by extremist groups and turbocharged by social media. The propaganda led to near hysteria in April 2019, when false rumours spread around the north-eastern city of Peshawar that schoolboys had fallen ill. In a single day, parents rushed 25,000 children to hospital and a state of emergency was declared.

Dr Safdar says lessons were learnt. The campaign has been given across-the-board political backing, he says, and education and outreach efforts have been redoubled. A revitalised campaign was launched late in 2019, only then to run headlong into the pandemic. Epidemiologists worry the hiatus will lead to a further increase in cases.

“Everyone was so depressed when we were regaining some momentum and Covid hit,” Dr Safdar says.

Capt Usman Younis, health secretary for Punjab, said it had been “disheartening” to see polio creep back into Lahore.

“We are very hopeful in about four months we will have a very, very different Punjab. Obviously, Covid has done some amount of damage because we did not do enough campaigns during this time,” he said.

The country's brush with coronavirus has made parents cautious, he said. When workers like Ms Bibi returned to work in late September, they wore masks and carried hand sanitiser on top of their usual equipment.

Nationwide, 260,000 vaccinators sought to vaccinate 40 million children and Ms Bibi was among 4,000 door-to-door teams working in Lahore alone, with another 1,000 teams posted in bazaars and bus stations to vaccinate passing children.

The death of little Muhammad Ali had made her more committed to finishing the job, she said.

“I'm motivated to do more.”


Original Source Article »

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Brainerd Rotary Club gears up for World Polio Day | Brainerd Dispatch.

[Oct 11th 2020]

World Polio Day is Oct. 24. Rotary International and local Rotary clubs such as the Brainerd Rotary Club and the Central Lakes Rotary Club of Pequot Lakes have been working for years to eradicate polio by raising awareness and funds to combat the highly infectious disease that attacks the nervous system.

This mother was cradling her child, as he received an oral polio vaccine, which would prevent the baby from acquiring the highly infectious disease poliomyelitis (polio), caused by the poliovirus. Photo / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This mother was cradling her child, as he received an oral polio vaccine, which would prevent the baby from acquiring the highly infectious disease poliomyelitis (polio), caused by the poliovirus. Photo / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Frank Lee writes:

Bob McLean of Nisswa knows getting people to care about World Polio Day during the coronavirus pandemic is a hard sell, but he and his fellow Rotarians aren’t going to stop trying.

World Polio Day is Oct. 24. The annual observance raises awareness about the disease and funds to end it and bring about “a world where no child lives in fear of paralysis from poliovirus.”

“The motto of Rotary, I think, best describes what we do. It’s basically doing good in the world through ‘service above self,’ so we’ve been very involved with many large projects, polio being the most significant,” McLean said.

McLean is retired from Happy Dancing Turtle, a nonprofit in Pine River. He is the district governor for Rotary District 5580, which includes the Rotary Club of Brainerd and the Central Lakes Rotary Club of Pequot Lakes.

“Rotary was the one that really started the whole initiative back in 1985 with the immunization effort. And back then, I think it was something in the neighborhood of like 250,000 people who had polio,” McLean said.

Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5, according to Rotary International. The poliovirus is spread from person to person through contaminated water, attacking the nervous system, and in some instances, leads to paralysis.

A woman received a vaccination from a health care professional. Photo by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Unsplash.com
A woman received a vaccination from a health care professional. Photo by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Unsplash.com

“In August, the entire continent of Africa was declared free of the wild poliovirus, leaving us with just two countries remaining in the entire world: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Even with a COVID Pandemic, progress continues to be made to achieve a world free of the wild poliovirus,” McLean stated in a letter to club leaders.

World Polio Day is a time for Rotarians from all over the world to come together, recognize their progress in their fight to end polio, and talk about the action they need to take to end polio for good, according to McLean. The theme for World Polio Day 2020 is “A win against polio is a win for global health.”

“The World Health Organization — once they saw what Rotary was able to accomplish in the Philippines — became a partner in the process. And then the Gates Foundation, very generous — exceptionally generous — in their contributions,” McLean said.

Rotary has contributed more than $2.1 billion to global polio eradication efforts. Since 1988, nearly 3 billion children have been immunized against polio, and nearly 19 million people are walking who would otherwise have been paralyzed, according to Rotary officials.

“All the clubs in our district are encouraged to help raise funds to help continue the vaccination process, so we’re encouraging all clubs in the district to — especially with World Polio Day — to put on some fun type event within their community that would help raise awareness,” he said.

The Central Lakes Rotary Club’s fundraiser “Pints for Polio” last year at Big Axe Brewing Co. in Nisswa included a portion of the proceeds from the sale of pints donated to the efforts to eradicate polio.

“There’s a number of clubs who have ordered COVID masks that have the Rotary and ‘End polio’ symbols on them, and those are going to be sold on Oct. 24 as a fundraiser,” McLean said.

The certification of Africa as wild poliovirus-free is a significant milestone that would not have been possible without the dedication and support of countless Rotary members, according to officials.

“It has taken many, many years to get to this point. But we’re now down to the last two countries in the world that have any polio cases left. And we’re hoping within the next three years or so, those two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, will also be free of the wild poliovirus,” he said.

McLean said the polio infrastructure Rotary helped build has been used over the last several months to respond to COVID-19 in many vulnerable countries. Rotary International includes 35,000 clubs around the world with 1.2 million members in 220 countries.

Some people who contracted polio end up with the inability to breathe on their own and often need the assistance of a medical device.

“They’re the lucky ones. They’re the ones who survived polio when they were young in contrast to those that were stricken and it became deadly for people because of the impact it has on their ability to breathe,” he said.

Within 10 years, as many as 200,000 new cases of polio could occur worldwide annually, according to Rotary International.

“For those that were living in countries where it continued to be, you know, pervasive, it was something that they were all just frightened to death about,” McLean said. “If you don’t eliminate polio from the face of the earth, it has every opportunity to crawl its way back up.”

For more information about Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” efforts, visit endpolio.org. And visit Rotary International’s Facebook page or endpolio.org at 8 a.m. on World Polio Day on Oct. 24 for an international broadcast about eradicating polio.

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FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at frank.lee@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL.

Original Source Article »

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The reporting sensitivity of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) for anaphylaxis and for Guillain-Barré syndrome | Vaccine.

[Pay to View Full Text] [Received 29 July 2020, Revised 24 September 2020, Accepted 26 September 2020, Available online 7 October 2020] [In Press, Corrected Proof]

Highlights.

* VAERS is a national passive post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring system.

* Only two previous studies exist on the sensitivity of VAERS reporting.

* We provide data on VAERS capture of anaphylaxis and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Abstract.

Background.

Underreporting is a limitation common to passive surveillance systems, including the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) that monitors the safety of U.S.-licensed vaccines. Nonetheless, previous reports demonstrate substantial case capture for clinically severe adverse events (AEs), including 47% of intussusception cases after rotavirus vaccine, and 68% of vaccine associated paralytic polio after oral polio vaccine.

Objectives.

To determine the sensitivity of VAERS in capturing AE reports of anaphylaxis and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) following vaccination and whether this is consistent with previous estimates for other severe AEs.

Methods.

We estimated VAERS reporting rates following vaccination for anaphylaxis and GBS. We used data from VAERS safety reviews as the numerator, and estimated incidence rates of anaphylaxis and GBS following vaccination from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) studies as the denominator. We defined reporting sensitivity as the VAERS reporting rate divided by the VSD incidence rate. Sensitivity was reported as either a single value, or a range if data were available from >1 study.

Results.

VAERS sensitivity for capturing anaphylaxis after seven different vaccines ranged from 13 to 76%; sensitivity for capturing GBS after three different vaccines ranged from 12 to 64%. For anaphylaxis, VAERS captured 13–27% of cases after the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, 13% of cases after influenza vaccine, 21% of cases after varicella vaccine, 24% of cases after both the live attenuated zoster and quadrivalent human papillomavirus (4vHPV) vaccines, 25% of cases after the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and 76% of cases after the 2009 H1N1 inactivated pandemic influenza vaccine. For GBS, VAERS captured 12% of cases after the 2012–13 inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine, 15–55% of cases after the 2009 H1N1 inactivated pandemic influenza vaccine, and 64% of cases after 4vHPV vaccine.

Conclusions

For anaphylaxis and GBS, VAERS sensitivity is comparable to previous estimates for detecting important AEs following vaccination.


Original Source Article »

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