Feb 25, 2014 — Doctors have diagnosed a handful of children with a polio-like disease that can paralyze an arm or a leg. The culprit may be a rare virus first detected in California more than 50 years ago.
Jan 16, 2014 — Years of effort to wipe out the Guinea worm parasite in Africa is paying off. Last year the number of cases dropped to a record low — 148, compared to millions in the 1980s. But war is complicating the low-tech efforts needed to stop spread of the infection.
Dec 15, 2013 — This year was on track for a record-low number of polio cases. But polio pushed back hard. It reappeared in some places and spiked in others. Still, global health officials remain confident that polio can be defeated soon.
Dec 2, 2013 — The polio outbreak in Syria has spread to four cities, and new cases are suspected each day. But U.N. agencies responsible for combating the outbreak can work only with the Syrian government. This limitation has hobbled vaccination efforts in rebel-held regions, where the virus was first detected.
Nov 8, 2013 — The recent discovery of polio in Syria and Israel should be a wake-up call to European health officials, scientists say. Low vaccination rates in some regions could offer the crippling virus a chance to reenter Europe and possibly gain a foothold. Vaccines used there also make it more likely that people can spread the virus.
Oct 31, 2013 — Health officials said that they were mistaken about a polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. Despite previous reports, South Sudan has not recorded any polio cases this year. The new information means that the spread of the virus around the Horn of Africa is more limited than previously thought.
Oct 30, 2013 — The number of polio cases globally sank to an all-time low in 2012. But outbreaks in Syria and Somalia this year are jeopardizing efforts to eradicate the virus. A recent visit to the Somali-Ethiopian border highlights just how easily polio can regain a foothold in rural, insecure communities.
Oct 27, 2013 — Just a few decades ago, polio was crippling more than a thousand children each day. Now the paralyzing virus remains endemic to only three countries. A timeline shows how polio went from one of the most feared illnesses to a disease on the ropes.
Oct 21, 2013 — Syria used to have one of the highest rates of polio vaccinations in the region. But since the civil war began, rates have plummeted. Now the crippling virus has likely returned to the country, health officials say. Initial tests indicate that polio has paralyzed at least two children.
Oct 8, 2013 — Bombs targeting polio vaccinators have threatened the global effort to stamp out the disease once and for all. The attacks are likely to continue, researchers warned, unless there's a change in eradication strategy toward local action.