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Evaluation of Response Scenarios to Potential Polio Outbreaks Using Mathematical Models

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Appropriate response to polio outbreaks represents an important prerequisite for achieving and maintaining global polio eradication. We use an existing dynamic disease transmission model to evaluate the impact of different aspects of immunization campaigns in response to polio outbreaks occurring in previously polio‐free areas. This analysis yields several important insights about response strategies. We find that delay in response represents a crucial risk factor for occurrence of large outbreaks and we characterize the tradeoffs associated with delaying the initial response to achieve better population coverage. We also demonstrate that controlling most potential outbreaks will likely require at least three immunization rounds, although the impact of the optimal interval between rounds varies. Finally, long after oral poliovirus vaccine cessation the choice of target age groups during a response represents an important consideration.
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Keywords: Epidemic modeling; optimization; outbreak response; polio

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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