Poliovirus Strikes Again, The

Swigart, Emily
Discovered in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, polio, or poliomyelitis, is a disease that causes inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord and also affects the digestive system. Spread by contact with other people, the three types of polioviruses are contracted through secretions of the nose and mouth and by contact with contaminated feces. In a small percentage of cases, the viruses result in paralysis of the legs, arms, and chest muscles. Often affected at a young age, most people recover quickly from polio; however, some suffer permanent paralysis or even death. With hopes of eliminating these cases, Salk and Sabin created two types of vaccines in the 1950s and 1960s that quickly led to eradication efforts that are still in place today. Polio has been nearing eradication for many years due to a global effort, but recent outbreaks in areas of Africa and Pakistan have led to setbacks in elimination. This project seeks not only to learn about these continued outbreaks from an international health perspective, but also to look further into the possibility of eradication on a global scale.
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