One more to go.
October 24, 2019 9:46 PM Subscribe
WHO just declared another polio virus strain eradicated. For polio to be fully eradicated, all three wild polio strains — types 1, 2, and 3 — need to stop circulating. The three strains all cause the same horrible symptoms, including paralysis and death, but are virologically distinct. Type 2 was eradicated back in 2015; the last case of type 3 polio surfaced in northern Nigeria in 2012 and the virus hasn’t been seen since. A poliovirus can be considered eradicated if it hasn’t been detected for three years. “[The eradication of type 3 polio] is a significant achievement that should reinvigorate the eradication process and provides motivation for the final step — the eradication of wild poliovirus type 1,” said David Salisbury, chair of the independent Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication, in a statement Thursday. Today, only type 1 remains at large — in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If it’s eradicated, polio will join smallpox as the only two human scourges wiped off the face of the planet. (A third disease that’s been eradicated, rinderpest, is spread mainly in cattle.) And today’s news is a step in that right direction.
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