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EXPLAINED: WORLD POLIO DAY

EXPLAINED: WORLD POLIO DAY

Context

October 24 is observed as World Polio Day every year.

Details

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop the vaccine against the disease.

About Polio Virus

  • It is a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person's spinal cord, causing paralysis (can't move parts of the body).
  • The virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis. Once that happens, the patient is crippled for life because there is no treatment for the affliction.

Which are the countries where the disease has seen recent outbreaks?

In 2019, polio outbreaks were recorded in the Philippines, Malaysia, Ghana, Myanmar, China, Cameroon, Indonesia and Iran, which were mostly vaccine-derived (a rare strain of the virus genetically mutated from the strain in the vaccine

What is India’s situation with regard to the disease?

India was declared polio-free in January 2014.The last case due to wild poliovirus in the country was detected on January 13, 2011.

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