Short Story of the Battle Against Poliomyelitis
There are three types of poliovirus. The type 2 Lansing and type 3 Leon have been virtually eradicated everywhere thanks to vaccines developed by Salk first in 1955 and then by Sabin in 1961. The use of the Sabin vaccine has prevailed for the new idea to use an attenuated virus and the convenience of administration (oral and not intramuscular) and because it is cheaper. Two billions and a half am01ong children and adults were vaccined in 200 countries, freeing up 80% of the world of this scourge and bringing down the figure of 35,000 children suffering from polio in 1988 to 279 in 2014, of which 236 cases appeared in Pakistan. The poliovirus type 1 Brunhilde, however, has not been eradicated completely and appeared recently in Pakistan, Somalia, Ethiopia,
Guinea, Kenya and Afghanistan. Each recurrence may be the beginning of new infections, so the war can never be said to be completely won.
Meanwhile, for the period 2013-2018, the World Health Organization and the Rotary Foundation allocated US$1 million each a year, for a total of US$5 billion, to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.