It has been a difficult year for the global campaign to eradicate polio. In August, two new wild polio cases were reported in Nigeria, which accounted for half of the global count in 2012 yet had not recorded a single wild polio incident since July 2014. It was a year away from being certified polio-free by the World Health Organization.
Despite this, polio now remains endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, with a total of 27 wild polio virus cases between them. Today, Type 1 poliovirus (WPV1)—always the most common—is the only strain still in existence. Type 2 (WPV2) was eradicated in 1999, with the last case detected in Aligarh, India. Type 3 (WPV3), the deadliest and most difficult to detect, has not been recorded since a case reported by Nigeria in November 2012.
Since 1988, polio cases have decreased by more than 99% from an estimated 350,000 cases to 27 cases in 2016 from just three countries. The world lies at the brink of eradicating the virus once and for all, but as long as even a single child remains infected, the virus poses a threat to the international community. Read more