In September, Ukraine announced that it had two confirmed cases of Polio. These two are the first cases reported since 2010. The World Health Organization is urging the country to declare a state of emergency due to the outbreak. Polio has not been largely present in Europe for a while, however, only half of Ukraine’s children have been vaccinated against this disease.
Ukraine may be vulnerable and hosting the first European case in years, but it is far from being dubbed the World’s Polio hot spot. Some other countries today have cases of Polio, primarily Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some other countries that have cases of Polio are Guinea, Lao PDR, and Madagascar, Nigeria. Those are the only two countries that have never stopped transmitting the disease. Polio has been decreased 99% since 1988, from more than 350,000 cases to 359 (2014).
Polio’s full title is poliomyelitis. It is a disease that can cripple, and can be deadly. The polio virus is spread from person to person through feces (poop). Typically, this is due to not washing hands and then making human contact. Polio can live in a person’s feces for 1-2 weeks. The virus can infect the brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis, and/or death.
The fight against Polio has been effective, but another outbreak is right around the corner if those who are fighting this disease let it retake a foothold. Polio is just one example of a disease that could quickly turn into a Pandemic if it gets out of hand. A Pandemic is a disease that is prevalent over an entire country, multiple countries, or even the whole world. We should always be prepared, be alert to what is around us, and learn the best techniques to survive. Below are some sources about Polio specifically.