CDC looks to end Polio globally

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden activated the CDC's Emergency Operations center in December 2011 as part of an effort to help the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

The CDC continues a close collaboration with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's fund, Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a globally coordinated response to Polio.

Eradication services were moved into EOC operational structures to better support Polio infected countries like Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since December 2011, there have been 430 workers in the field, and 70-80 people every day work to eradicate Polio.

Since the launch of global polio eradication efforts in 1988, cases of Polio have dropped more than 99 percent. In 2012, 97 percent of cases were found in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

In Angola, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Polio was eliminated in the past, but has seen recent reestablishment transmission of the poliovirus. Concerns are growing that time for eliminating the poliovirus from these countries is slipping away.

"If we fail to get over the finish line, we will need to continue expensive control measures for the indefinite future..." Frieden said. "More importantly, without eradication, a resurgence of polio could paralyze more than 200,000 children worldwide every year within a decade."