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World Polio Day — October 24, 2014

World Polio Day was established for annual observance on October 24 by Rotary International more than a decade ago to commemorate the fight against poliomyelitis. Widespread use of poliovirus vaccine led to an increasing number of polio-free countries and to establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. As of October 14, a total of 243 polio cases had been reported in 2014, with 92% of the cases reported from Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the only three countries where transmission of indigenous wild poliovirus has continued uninterrupted (1).

On December 2, 2011, the CDC Emergency Operations Center was activated to strengthen the agency's partnership engagement through GPEI. In April 2012, the World Health Assembly declared completion of polio eradication a programmatic emergency for global public health (2). In May 2014, the international spread of poliovirus was declared a public health emergency of international concern (3,4). Additional information regarding CDC's polio eradication activities is available at, and additional information about GPEI and the global partnership is available at


  1. Moturi EK, Porter KA, Wassilak SGF, et al. Progress toward polio eradication—worldwide, 2013–2014. MMWR 2014;63:468–72.
  2. World Health Assembly. Poliomyelitis: intensification of the global eradication initiative. Report by the Secretariat. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2012. Available at
  3. World Health Organization. Polio public health emergency: temporary recommendations to reduce international spread of poliovirus. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2014. Available at
  4. Wallace GS, Seward JF, Pallansch MA. Interim CDC guidance for polio vaccination for travel to and from countries affected by wild poliovirus. MMWR 2014;63:591–4.

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