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CDC Director Calls For ‘Final Push’ To Eradicate Polio

“A ‘final push’ is needed toward eradication of polio worldwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said” in an online update on the agency’s polio eradication efforts, United Press International reports. “Polio incidence dropped more than 99 percent since the launch of global polio eradication efforts in 1988 and no polio cases have been reported since January 2011 in India, one of the four remaining endemic countries, a CDC report said,” UPI writes. “‘Nevertheless, poliovirus transmission is ongoing in the other three endemic countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan — and travelers have carried the infection back to 39 previously polio-free countries over the last several years,’ [the update] said,” according to UPI.

CDC Director Thomas Frieden said, “If we fail to get over the finish line, we will need to continue expensive control measures for the indefinite future. More importantly, without eradication, every year polio could disable or kill more than 100,000 children,” UPI notes (4/20). The agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), published Friday, provides an update on progress made toward global polio eradication (4/20).