The Global Eradication of Polio Essays

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The Global Eradication of Polio The possibility of the eradication of polio worldwide is an imminent and exciting prospect as the "goal" year quickly approaches. In 1988, the World Health Assembly, which governs the World Health Organization, set the goal of eliminating polio from the world by the year 2010. Many organizations have joined the effort along with the World Health Organization: the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, Rotary International, Global Health Network, the US Agency for International Development, National Immunization Day, and the International Broadcasting Bureau. Together, these "worldwide polio partners" have implemented a strategy to completely rid the world of this disease. It is a difficult…show more content…
The poliovirus enters the body through the mouth, and multiplies in the throat and intestines. It may remain unmanifested for anywhere from four to thirty-five days. Once the virus is in the intestines it has the potential to spread throughout the body by way of the bloodstream, and infiltrate into the central nervous system. In the central nervous system, the virus can spread out along the nerve fibers and begin to destroy the nerve cells, or motor neurons, resulting in limpness in the arms and legs. This is known as acute flaccid paralysis and this symptom of polio (also a symptom of several other diseases) is used to uncover new cases which may have been misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all (WHO 1999). This is a necessary procedure in that it helps to cover all the bases in the pursuit of eradicating poliovirus from the earth. It is important to note that paralysis does not occur in all polio cases. Acute poliomyelitis manifests itself as a two-phased disease in a small proportion of its victims. The first phase is minor, a "non-specific febrile illness" (Prevots 1999). All patients with polio experience this phase, and only a small percentage develops the second phase, "aseptic meningitis and/or paralytic disease" (Prevots 1999). The aseptic meningitis is inflammation, caused by the virus, of the meninges of the

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