Apr 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – As polio eradication efforts lost ground in 2008, 15 African countries bore the brunt of the spread of the disease with multiple importations of wild poliovirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its global health partners reported today.Though the disease’s spread raises concerns about reaching the global goal of eradication, the CDC also reports some positive developments, such as quicker detection and response patterns that might have limited the size of the outbreaks when compared with a polio resurgence that occurred between 2002 and 2005. The findings appear in today’s issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and follow on the heels of an Apr 3 CDC report that described last year’s 26% spike in polio cases.The new report describes 32 importations of wild poliovirus (WPV) 1 and 3 into 15 African countries, which led to 96 polio cases from January 2008 to March 2009. The importations have struck three regions of Africa: West Central, the Horn, and South Central. Nigeria was the direct or indirect source of 29 of the importations, which accounted for 68 cases. India was the source for three WPV importations, all of them affecting Angola, which resulted in 28 cases.In its assessment of polio detection trends in Africa, the CDC reports that the median interval between onset of paralysis in the first identified case to laboratory polio confirmation was 31.5 days, compared with a median of 51 days during the 2002-2005 increase in polio cases.Response time also decreased, the report says. The median interval from laboratory confirmation to the first large-scale vaccination effort was 27.5 days, compared with 37 days during the 2002-2005 polio resurgence.Five countries that were previously polio-free experienced WPV importation before 2008 and have seen the virus persist into 2009: Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, and Sudan. Indicators of routine and supplemental immunization activities suggest lower immunization rates in children in these five countries, compared to the other African countries that had polio reimportation—64% versus 75%. Efforts are under way to strengthen acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and supplemental immunization in these countries, the CDC reports.The agency says that four countries—Angola, Chad, Nigeria, and Sudan—have been the source of repeated WPV importation into other countries on the African continent since January 2009. The CDC notes that all four countries have weak health infrastructures, low routine vaccine coverage in certain areas, and gaps in supplemental immunization that are due to poor planning and implementation.Civil war in Angola, Chad, and Sudan in past years may have hurt polio eradication efforts in those countries, the CDC says, adding that Chad and Sudan continue to have civil unrest.Health officials have not determined the mode of WPV transmission from India to Angola, but the CDC said that studies are underway to identify contributing travel patterns, the report says.Supplemental immunization activities in affected and neighboring countries will continue in 2009, and the CDC urges all countries that are polio-free to keep their guard up. “Globalized transportation and international migration pose a risk for WPV reintroduction for all countries,” the agency states.CDC. Wild poliovirus type 1 and type 3 importations—15 countries, Africa, 2008-2009. MMWR 2009 Apr 16;58(14):357-62 [Full text]See also:Apr 2 CIDRAP News story “Polio eradication efforts lost ground in 2008”
The St. Louis 7th Grade Lady Cardinals took a fall against Greensburg’s A team last night. It went down with a 36-6 defeat, but they gave their all for the first game.Our leading scorer was Grace Laudick with 6 points. Defensively GiGi Dreyer and Sydney Schutte both pulled down 6 rebounds a piece.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Erin Trenkamp.The St. Louis 8th Grade Girls Basketball team opened their season with a road win against Greensburg Thursday night by a final score of 31 to 18.A buzzer beater 3 point shot at the half by Hailey Mohr ignited a balanced scoring attack and a solid defensive effort by the Lady Cardinals.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Mike Burkhart.
The Badgers have been pretty consistent over the last month, just not in a great way.For the fourth consecutive weekend, the UW volleyball team came away splitting two matches with one win and one loss. Wisconsin took down the Iowa Buckeyes easily, 30-20, 30-28, 30-23, on Friday night; however, the Minnesota Golden Gophers got revenge in beating the Badgers 21-30, 30-24, 30-19, 31-29 the next night.”We were pretty pleased with our match at Iowa,” UW head coach Pete Waite said. “I thought we played a solid game, we took their players out of their system better than we did when they played here, so we were pretty happy with that.”Against Minnesota, we played a great first game. We did everything we were trying to do offensively, we were … playing with a lot of confidence,” Waite continued. “After that, Minnesota came out and made some changes, and we weren’t able to adjust. It’s something we have got to be better at.”Wisconsin was tied with the Gophers at 20 in the second game, and at 29 in the fourth, but was unable to come up with enough points at the end to get the road victory.”There’s just a few things that we’re not quite capitalizing on in critical times, that we just have to do to get those wins,” Waite said.Doubled up: Wisconsin has kept a balanced attack all season, as five Badgers continue to average over 2.3 kills per game.However, redshirt freshman Audra Jeffers is beginning to look more and more like the centerpiece of the UW offense. Jeffers, following a 17-kill performance at Minnesota, has hit double-digit kills in her last 11 matches to reach a team-high 3.48 kills a game.”Audra’s doing a great job, our setters have been learning to get her the ball in better situations,” Waite said. “Physically, she’s capable of doing some great things against any team in the conference.”On the defensive side, sophomore libero Jocelyn Wack is just seven matches away from setting a record for consecutive double-digit dig matches. With 26 digs against Minnesota and 22 at Iowa, Wack has 56 straight matches with at least 10 digs. Griselle Lopez-Pereira of Virginia Commonwealth has the current record, with her streak ending at 63 on Sept. 2.So long, seniors: This weekend marks the last regular-season home matches for Wisconsin’s two seniors, Aubrey Meierotto and Sheila Shaw.”They’ve both been great,” Waite said. “The last two years, we’ve been a pretty young team, and they’ve been leaders all the time for us.”Meierotto is a fifth-year senior, who redshirted her freshman year to take care of knee problems. Fighting through illness this year, Meierotto has managed to put down just under three kills per game played.”She’s just put up some great numbers for us, and been tough as a leader,” Waite said. “It’s unfortunate she had pneumonia this year, it was a bit of a bump in the road for her, but she’s been fantastic.”Shaw was honored as a member of the 2004 All-Big Ten squad last year, and has contributed 2.77 kills and 1.53 blocks per game with a .303 hitting percentage in 2005.”Sheila, from the beginning, started in the middle as an undersized middle blocker in the Big Ten, and her physical abilities just had her standing out all the time,” Waite said.Stretch run: With just four matches left, Wisconsin (19-6, 11-5 Big Ten) remains very much in the hunt for second place in the conference, currently in a three-way tie for the spot with Minnesota and the Ohio State Buckeyes.”We’ve been lucky that with the conference standings, [teams] are beating up on each other,” Waite said. “Purdue just went to Ohio State and lost to them, and we beat Ohio State both times we played them.”The team that’s playing spoiler right now is Northwestern,” Waite added. “They’ve gone out and beaten a couple of the ranked teams and have really shaken up the standings. [Next week] we have to go to their place and play, and hopefully we’ll take care of business there.”Wisconsin has played a lot of volleyball against their upcoming contenders. The Badgers beat the Michigan State Spartans and lost to the Michigan Wolverines in mid-October. Both matches went the five-game distance.Waite knows if his team wants to go after home court matches in the playoffs, it will be imperative to get some wins over the final two weekends of the regular season.”You never know, sometimes the NCAA surprises you,” he said. “But if we do finish out 4-0, we should finish second in the Big Ten. With our attendance figures, everything should come together for us.”