World close to ending polio, yet it's a tough foe

Published: Monday, June 18 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Kathy Gannon writes for the Huffington Post.

"Less than four months ago the world was cheered to learn that India had gone a full year with no new cases of polio a landmark that left only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria on the World Health Organization's list of countries where the disease is endemic."

"Elsewhere in the world, a growing number of cases are being discovered and traced back to Pakistan and Nigeria. While the numbers are low today, WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer warned that the disease can quickly regain strength."

"Every Pakistani and Afghan child under age 5 must be vaccinated several times a year by health workers whose work is often hampered by ignorance, religious extremism, natural disasters and war."

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