Global health officials inch closer to eliminating polio
The officials state this progress is an important part of the foundation for removing polio from the world. The virus has never before been so limited to specific geographic areas.
As of today, there were just 66 wild poliovirus cases that were confirmed for the year. All of these cases were detected in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the last two polio-endemic countries. In contrast, in 2014, there were 324 wild poliovirus cases detected in nine countries.
Most recently, Nigeria was removed from the polio endemic-country category. It has officially eliminated wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2), as multiple outbreaks have been contained and eradicated.
Eliminating polio from Nigeria was a significant challenge, as the nation has many big populations that are located in rural areas that are difficult to reach. There is also regional insecurity in the country, making it challenging for health care workers with vaccines to reach people.
Specific challenges that health officials must address before the world can be free of polio remain and need to be faced in the upcoming year.