Health officials in Nigeria are celebrating an impressive milestone: The country has gone one year without a single case of polio. The world is now one step closer to making polio the second human infectious disease – after smallpox – to be eradicated with an effective vaccination campaign.
Nigeria is now on the brink of eradicating the paralyzing disease, which predominately affects children under five. Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease, which invades the nervous system and can at times paralyze a victim in a matter of hours. The disease is caused by a virus that spreads through unhygienic environments. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis and 5% to 10% among those paralyzed die.
There are only three countries where polio remains endemic – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. If no cases are reported in the following weeks and the World Health Organization(WHO) confirms previously affected areas are free of the…
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