MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Global eradication of polio would enhance individual health

How eliminating polio impacts individual health security | Courtesy of cdc.gov
As health professionals continue to fight toward eliminating polio from the world, they have explained how global eradication could impact each individual’s health security.

Globalization in economies and societies also impacts medical concerns. International travel and global trade continue to rise, and infectious diseases spread quickly around the world, no matter how rare or commonplace they may sound.

Even polio, a virus that has been eliminated from the U.S. for more than 30 years, can pose a global health threat. The average American does not remember childhood polio vaccinations, children in leg braces, and black-and-white photos of iron-lungs, as these things are now only seen in history textbooks. Unfortunately, polio remains a very real health threat.

Eliminating this virus from the world means everyone can be considered safe from polio and its consequences.

“Scenarios for polio being introduced into the United States are easy to imagine, and the disease could get a foothold if we don’t maintain high vaccination rates,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team leader Greg Wallace said. “For example, an unvaccinated U.S. resident could travel abroad and become infected before returning home. Or, a visitor to the United States could travel here while infected. The point is that one person infected with polio is all it takes to start the spread of polio to others if they are not protected by vaccination.”

Organizations in this story

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1600 Clifton Rd Atlanta, GA 30329

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