Spread Of Polio In Pakistan Threatening Goal Of Eradication

With 63 cases of polio diagnosed in Pakistan this year, nearly double the number recorded in the same time period 2010, the U.N. “says that these findings suggest Pakistan could be the ‘last polio reservoir worldwide’ – the country standing in the way of eliminating only the second global epidemic disease after smallpox,” the Atlantic Wire reports.

“[W]hat’s particularly troubling now is that while the number of cases is dropping in India, Nigeria, and Afghanistan – which, along with Pakistan account for over 90 percent of cases – the disease is spreading in Pakistan (in fact Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has declared polio a national emergency),” the news source writes. According to a recent report, the goal of eradicating polio is threatened by a lack of funding and a reappearance of the disease in Chad, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, as well as an outbreak in the Nigerian state of Kano, the Atlantic Wire notes (Friedman, 8/10).