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Polio has not yet gone the way of smallpox, and global eradication has proved difficult. A paper by Luo et al (N Engl J Med 2013;369:1981–90) describes in detail the emergence and subsequent control of an outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in China in 2011. China had not seen a case since 1994. Sequence analysis of the causal agent of this epidemic revealed it to be wild-type poliovirus type 1, imported from Pakistan, one of only three countries from which endemic …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.