Governments Plan to Make Polio a Disease of the Past

Two U.S. government agencies - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) - joined the World Health Organization WHO) and the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development to sign the global protocol of intent to eradicate polio wherever it occurs. The agreement also has the support of international charity organizations, such as Rotary International, and will reach out to communities throughout the world.

Polio has long been eradicated in North America due to successful vaccination programs, but outbreaks of this highly infectious crippling disease continue to occur in some central Asian and African countries. And because polio is extremely contagious, there is always a risk of it being transmitted to countries where it no longer exists or was thought to be eradicated, including the U.S. Since this poses a risk to unvaccinated children, the goal of the agreement is to eradicate all strains of polio.

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