Photo courtesy of CDC
The poliovirus may cause deformities
in the limbs.
Russia, which has seen outbreaks of polio in recent years, is partnering with the United States on a new initiative to eradicate the disease.
An agreement to work together on polio eradication was signed in late January by USAID, HHS and the Russian health ministry. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah said, “I am excited by the potentially huge impact that we can have when combining our countries’ respective talent and expertise to overcome our world’s development challenges.”
Polio persists as a stubborn scourge despite the 22-year effort of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which has achieved a 99 percent reduction in polio worldwide. But recent years have witnessed outbreaks in Central Asia and several cases in Russia of the highly infectious disease.
Image courtesy of James Hogle,
The structure of polio virus
as determined by X-ray
One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis and, among those paralyzed, between five and 10 percent die. “Ridding the world of this preventable disease will dramatically reduce the global burden of disability and death from polio,” said HHS Director of Global Health Affairs Nils Daulaire. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to strengthen our partnership with our Russian colleagues.”