Volume 25, Number 8—August 2019
From the Greek polios (“gray”) + myelos (“marrow”), poliomyelitis may have plagued humanity since antiquity. The funerary stele of the Egyptian priest Ruma (circa 1400
Because broad immunization campaigns made progress toward regional polio elimination in the Americas, in 1988 the World Health Assembly declared a goal of global polio eradication. Through a partnership between Rotary International, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has achieved a 99.9% decrease in the global incidence of polio. Today, wild poliovirus transmission occurs in only Afghanistan and Pakistan, and 4 of the 6 World Health Organization regions have formally declared the elimination of the indigenous wild poliovirus. Of the 3 types of poliovirus, type 2 wild poliovirus was declared eradicated globally in 2015, and type 3 wild poliovirus has not been detected since 2012. With only 33 cases globally from type 1 wild poliovirus in 2018, the task remains to eliminate polio in its last niches.
- Pearce JM. Poliomyelitis (Heine-Medin disease). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005;76:128.
- Global Polio Eradication Initiative. History of polio [cited 2019 Jun 21]. http://polioeradication.org/polio-today/history-of-polio
- Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Our mission [cited 2019 Jun 21] http://polioeradication.org/who-we-are/our-mission
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Original Publication Date: 7/1/2019