Polio

1:33pm

Sun December 15, 2013
Shots - Health News

They Shot For Zero, But Couldn't Squash Polio In 2013

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 12:43 pm

A polio worker vaccinates a child in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, in October.
Arshad Arbab EPA/Landov

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. Numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. Over the next two weeks, you'll hear the stories behind numbers, ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world during one year was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number.

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3:03am

Wed October 30, 2013
Shots - Health News

Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:27 pm

The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Update on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.

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11:49am

Sun October 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

How The World Backed Polio Into A Corner

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:36 pm

A young girl stands in the doorway of a home in Uttar Pradesh, India. The markings on the door show that a polio immunization team vaccinated children in the home.
Alyce Henson Courtesy of Rotary International

The world is close to eliminating polio once and for all.

Just a few decades ago, polio was crippling more than a thousand children each day. Now the paralyzing virus is endemic to only three countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. And there were just 223 cases globally last year.

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7:27am

Mon October 21, 2013
Shots - Health News

First Polio Cases Since 1999 Suspected In Syria

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

Syrian opposition fighters sit on the front line in the city of Deir Ezzor on Oct. 13. Ongoing violence has ravaged the city since March 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization is investigating a cluster of possible polio cases in an eastern province of Syria.

If the cases are confirmed, they'd be the first ones in the war-torn nation in more than a decade. The country eliminated polio in 1999.

Syria used to have one of the highest polio vaccination rates in the region. If the virus has returned, it would be a high-profile example of the ramifications of the collapse of Syria's once-vaunted public health system.

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1:24am

Mon September 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Keep Polio At Bay, Israel Revaccinates A Million Kids

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:10 am

In early August, Israel launched a mass campaign to vaccinate children against polio, including this little girl at a clinic in Rahat.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Israel is in the midst of a massive, emergency immunization drive of all children under the age of 9 against polio.

Why?

Health workers detected the virus in southern Israel in February. Since then, they've found it in 85 different sewage samples across the country, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said Wednesday. Yet so far, no children have gotten sick or been paralyzed by the virus.

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