Traveler Alert: Polio Is Making A Comeback53 sec read
This is not a story we thought we’d be working on. Polio, the disease that ravaged children around the world in the mid-20th century, is making a comeback, and the World Health Organization is concerned.
The WHO has declared that the sudden rejuvenation of the vaccine-preventable disease constitutes an international health emergency. Officials say three countries – Syria, Cameroon and Pakistan – have contributed to the international spread of the virus. None of those are exactly vacation hotspots, but travelers should be aware. So far in 2014, there have been 74 cases of polio reported, 59 of them in Pakistan. The WHO says citizens of those three countries traveling internationally should be vaccinated before their departure and carry proof of vaccination.
Polio mainly affects children under five years old; in a small percentage of cases it can lead to irreversible paralysis. One in ten patients die when their breathing muscles seize up. Polio was eradicated in the United States in 1979.
Photo from The Telegraph.