On World Polio Day (24th October) Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners announced that wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide. WPV3 is only the third infectious human disease-causing pathogen to be eradicated in history, following smallpox and wild poliovirus type 2. This achievement means that two of the three wild polio strains have now been wiped out, an important marker of progress against the disease.
The announcement comes on the heels of recent news that Nigeria has gone three years without a case of wild poliovirus. Africa has now been certified wild poliovirus-free.
“The eradication of wild poliovirus type three is a critical step in Rotary’s fight to eradicate polio,” said Michael K. McGovern, Chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. “Even as we’re addressing major challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan, we continue to make historic progress that shows us that eradication is possible. Today is World Polio Day—a time to reflect on our efforts, how far we’ve come, and the work that still needs to be done to fulfill our promise of a polio-free world. It’s important that we remain optimistic and harness the momentum of this good news as we tackle the remaining challenges in the global effort to end polio.”
Anyone can help Rotary and its partners continue to make progress against polio. Donate to End Polio Now and view Rotary’s World Polio Day program, which will be available starting at 12 PM CDT/6 PM CEST.