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End Polio by 2018

By on April 4, 2013

Health authorities are finalizing a plan to end most cases of polio by late next year and eradicate the disease by 2018 — if they can raise enough money to finish the work.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Approximately 95% of persons infected with polio will have no symptoms. About 4-8% of infected persons have minor symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, flu-like symptoms, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the limbs, which often resolve completely.

Paralysis that can lead to permanent disability and death.Polio is spread by person-to-person contact and only affects humans.

The six-year global strategy will cost $5.5 billion, and require increasing security for vaccine workers who have come under attack in hard-hit countries.

But with polio cases at a historic low — 223 cases last year — officials with the World Health Organization, Gates Foundation and other polio-fighting groups said Tuesday there is a chance of success. The disease was widespread in 125 countries back in 1988 when the global polio fight began. Today, it remains endemic in just three: Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

According to a 2010 study, net benefits from reduced costs for polio treatment and increased productivity would amount to $40 billion to $50 billion through 2035.



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