How The World Backed Polio Into A Corner | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

How The World Backed Polio Into A Corner

The world is close to eliminating polio once and for all.

Just a few decades ago, polio was crippling more than a thousand children each day. Now the paralyzing virus is endemic to only three countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. And there were just 223 cases globally last year.

This timeline explores how polio went from one of the most feared illnesses in the world to a disease on the ropes.

During the past few decades, governments, foundations and nonprofits have joined forces to train thousands of health workers, immunize millions of kids and develop stronger vaccination systems that are also reaching children with other health services.

Until the transmission of poliovirus is stopped in endemic countries, the threat of outbreaks in other areas of the world remains. Nevertheless, health leaders are aiming to eradicate polio completely by 2018.

Author and historian David Oshinsky is chair of history at the University of Texas, Austin. He won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for his book Polio: An American Story.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

After A Ho-Hum Summer, Hollywood Ramps Up For Fall

Until Guardians of the Galaxy came along, this year's box office figures were the worst in years. But critic Bob Mondello says there are bound to be some fall films that get pulses pounding again.
NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

Guns Boom In 2014 Campaign Ads

Ads with candidates shooting guns are proliferating this year. It can all be traced back to Sen. Joe Manchin's famed 2010 spot "Dead Aim."
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.