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Why eradicating polio everywhere has been so hard to crack

Polio is a disease that struck fear into the hearts of parents just a generation ago.

Poliomyelitis, known as polio, is a viral illness which spreads through faeces and respiratory secretions. Polio causes sudden onset of weakness, often permanent paralysis, in otherwise healthy individuals. One arm or leg can become useless, or the whole body from the neck down can be paralysed. Often multiple children in the same household would die of the disease, with survivors left in wheelchairs. South Africa still had polio cases well into the 1980’s, with the last case of wild poliovirus in 1989.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has not gone according to plan. The first eradication…

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Last Updated : Saturday, November 30, 2019