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Polio Factbox

Polio Factbox

  • Polio is a highly infectious disease and mainly affects children under the age of 5.
  • When polio is contracted, it invades the nervous system and within hours can cause total paralysis.
  • One out of 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis and of those, 5-10 percent die when muscles associated with breathing become paralyzed.
  • There is no cure; prevention is the only method of controlling the disease.
  • Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed in 1988, cases have decreased by more than 99 percent.
  • Three countries remain polio-endemic - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan - down from more than 125 countries in 1988.

Source: WHO