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Africa Celebrates the End of the Wild Poliovirus (but Not the End of All Polio)

World / Africa

A virus that once paralyzed tens of thousands of children a year is said to have been eradicated on the African continent, though a minor strain still infects hundreds.

DAKAR, Senegal — Africa is set to announce that it has stamped out wild poliovirus after a three-decade campaign against a disease that once paralyzed 75,000 children on the continent every year.

The achievement is a major step toward ridding the globe of the virus that causes the disabling — and sometimes deadly — disease of polio: Only Afghanistan and Pakistan are still reporting cases.

“Future generations of African children can live free of wild poliovirus,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, said in a briefing on…

Ruth Maclean

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