The risks of medical complacency towards poliomyelitis

Meryta May, David Durrheim, Jason A Roberts and Rhonda Owen
Med J Aust 2020; 213 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50681
Published online: 6 July 2020

Australia needs to improve vigilance in the global endeavour to eradicate poliomyelitis

In 1988, there were over 350 000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis globally.1 In 2018, there were 29 cases and in 2019 there were 112 cases2 — all in the only two remaining countries in the world where wild poliovirus (WPV) is endemic (Afghanistan and Pakistan). We are tantalisingly close to global eradication.

  • Meryta May1,2
  • David Durrheim3,4
  • Jason A Roberts5
  • Rhonda Owen6

  • 1 Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, QLD
  • 3 Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, NSW
  • 4 Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
  • 5 Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Melbourne, VIC
  • 6 Australian Government Department of Health, Canberra, ACT



We thank David Isaacs and Bruce Thorley for their assistance in providing relevant information for this manuscript.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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