Serological Epidemiology of Poliomyelitis on St. Vincent Island, Federation of West Indies

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  • Department of Virology and Epidemiology, Baylor University College of Medicine, Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory, Houston, Texas
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Sera collected from 152 healthy young inhabitants of the island of St. Vincent (population, about 80,000) were assayed for antibody against all three types of poliovirus. Results showed that, in spite of the fact that the island has never had an outbreak of poliomyelitis, a significant part of the population develops antibodies to each of the three types of poliovirus by the age of 5 years, and this increases to involve 86 to 95% of the young adult population. Evidence indicates that at present St. Vincent is part of a Caribbean zone of poliomyelitis endemicity. But as clinical poliomyelitis is appearing with increasing frequency in other parts of this zone, vaccination of susceptible young children on St. Vincent should be considered in order to anticipate, and prevent, a shift to the epidemic situation.