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Abdolhussein Shakurnia 1 Article
An epidemiological analysis of acute flaccid paralysis in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran, from 2006 to 2010
Ali Akbar Momen, Abdolhussein Shakurnia
Epidemiol Health. 2016;38:e2016030.   Published online July 19, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2016030
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Investigations into the epidemiology of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) are an essential strategic component of the Global Poliomyelitis Eradication Initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), and are part of the certification process for polio eradication worldwide. This is an epidemiological report of AFP incidence in children less than 15 years old in southwest Iran.
METHODS
This was a retrospective cohort study, carried out based on WHO guidelines, in which we reviewed non-polio AFP cases recorded from January 2006 to December 2010 in different regions of Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran. In this study, the records of all children under 15 years old with AFP were evaluated.
RESULTS
During a 5-year period, 137 cases of AFP were reported (incidence rate, 2.21 per 100,000 children <15 years old). More than 50% (73 of 137) of the cases were boys, and 52.6% (72 of 137) were under 5 years of age, with a mean age of 5.39±3.98 years. The incidence of AFP was significantly higher in older children (p=0.001). The most common cause of paralysis was Guillain-Barré syndrome (117 of 137). None of the cases were diagnosed with acute poliomyelitis.
CONCLUSIONS
In this study, we found that the incidence rate of AFP in the region was almost in agreement with the expected incidence of AFP in children less than 15 years old; therefore, the AFP surveillance program in Khuzestan Province is satisfactory in terms of reliability and effectiveness. Nevertheless, routine vaccination against polio and ensuring that patients with AFP receive follow-up are essential for eradicating polio.
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