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World Polio Day is observed on October 24. This observance was established by Rotary International in order to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, the developer of a vaccine against polio.
 
Poliomyelitis was known since the ancient times, but the first clinical description of the disease was provided only by English physician Michael Underwood in 1789. The virus struck the developed countries at the end of the 19th century, at the beginning of the 20th century it appeared in the USA and Europe. The disease reached its peak during the 1950s, when it started to shift from infants to children aged from five to nine.
 
Polio affects the further life of those children who once suffered it. The first efficient attempts to fight the virus were made by Jonas Salk in 1955, who lead the first team to develop and test the inactivated vaccine.
 
Salk's inactivated vaccine and Sabin's oral vaccine helped save thousands children. The use of the vaccines led to establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, that reduced the worldwide cases of polio by 99%.
 
 
Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, still remains the only African country that still has record of the polio virus reported within its territory. The other two countries with the virus are Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The WHO has affirmed that despite a 99.9% reduction of polio spread between 1988 and 2016, they were committed to ensuring that polio is totally wiped off the planet. According to the UN, 27 children have been paralyzed for life by polio in 2016.
 
The following video is a recording of the live streamed World Polio Day 2016 event held on 24 October at the CDC in Atlanta.
 
 
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
 
 
 
 
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