Poliomyelitis Eradication Program
Poliomyelitis (formerly children’s palsy or Heinrich-Medin’s disease) is an acute infectious disease caused by three types of poliovirus – 1, 2 and 3. They do not differ in virulence. However, protection against disease makes it possible to immunize against a specific type of virus that attacks the body.
Infections with polioviruses have a variety of courses: from asymptomatic, benign, through meningitis, to severe paralytic diseases.
For many years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been running a worldwide eradication program for poliomyelities. Mass vaccination against poliomyelitis, conducted as part of this program, led to a dramatic decrease in the number of cases in a short time, especially in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. Vaccination against poliomyelitis is still ongoing throughout the world, despite the fact that the disease is being eradicated