The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Polio

It takes more than a village to keep a virus in business.

by CDC/J. J. Esposito and F. A. Murphy

Negative stain image of the polio virus.

74 million Number of African children that the World Health Organization hopes to vaccinate this October and November in an attempt to eradicate the polio virus before 2005

11 Number of months, beginning in August 2003, that the Nigerian government halted polio immunizations amid rumors that the vaccine was spiked with the AIDS virus

1,148 Polio cases contracted worldwide during that time period

616 Number of those cases that were in Nigeria

161 Number of cases reported in Nigeria during the 11 months preceding August 2003

10 Number of polio-infected countries surrounding Nigeria that were free of the virus prior to the outbreak

$3 billion Total amount spent attempting to eradicate polio since 1988

$100 MILLION Amount spent attempting to contain the Nigerian outbreak

90 Percent of the global polio burden accounted for by Africa

SOURCES: World Health Organization; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention