Rotary fight against polio is almost won

The Polio virus. (GROHMEIER / Duke University
The Polio virus. (GROHMEIER / Duke University

Special to Martinez Tribune

Martinez Rotary is proud to participate in a major Rotary international project: abolishing polio. The program is very close to succeeding. If it does, polio will be the second global scourge to be eradicated (the first being smallpox).

Eradicating polio depends on establishing defenses. This is accomplished by vaccination.

Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract. It is most often spread through person-to-person contact with the stool of an infected person and may also be spread through oral/nasal secretions.

Two of the three types of polio-virus have been eliminated. Type 1 still exists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In those countries the number of known cases has dropped from 334 in 2014 to 51 as of November 2015.

A big part of the reason why polio still exists in these nations is opposition to vaccination. This is sad, since vaccination has been overwhelmingly shown to save lives and reduce suffering.

Rotary Report is a brief synopsis of weekly Martinez Rotary Club presentations, provided by a Rotary member. Rotary meets from 7:30-9 a.m. every Wednesday (excluding the last Wednesday of the month) at Grace Episcopal Church, 130 Muir Station Road, Martinez. For more information about the club, visit

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