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Next Public Health Grand Rounds

Global Polio Eradication: Reaching Every Last Child

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 1pm EST.

Global Polio Eradication: Reaching Every Last ChildPolio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s spinal cord, causing life-long paralysis or in rare instances, death. The eradication of polio remains an important priority for the CDC and many of its global partners. Over the past 25 years, the number of polio cases reported worldwide has fallen from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 to only 407 in 2013—a decline of more than 99%, but there remains work to be done.

Currently, four regions of the world (the Americas, Europe, South East Asia and the Western Pacific) are certified polio free, but in a small number of countries the spread of this disease has never stopped, putting all the countries of the world at risk. Polio has no cure, making vaccination the only way to eradicate it. However, continued conflict, political instability, hard-to-reach populations, and attempts to ban vaccination in some areas continue to pose complex challenges and threaten to derail decades of work.


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  • Page last reviewed: November 3, 2014
  • Page last updated: November 3, 2014
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