- 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.