December 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.
November 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.
October 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.
October 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.
October 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.
October 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.
October 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.
July 31, 2013 In the 1970s, Ali Maow Maalin, a Somali hospital worker, was the last member of the general public to catch smallpox — worldwide. Once recovered, he worked for years to wipe out polio in Somalia. Maalin, called "an inspiration" by world health leaders, died unexpectedly last week.
June 28, 2013 The world is closer than ever to wiping out polio. But a growing outbreak in the Horn of Africa has health workers worried that the virus could spread to surrounding regions. Thirty-one kids have been paralyzed by the poliovirus in the past two months, and the number is expected to rise.
May 22, 2013 A handful of polio infections in Kenya and Somalia could set back efforts to wipe out the virus worldwide, health workers warned Wednesday. The last time there was polio in this region, the virus spread throughout the Horn of Africa into the Middle East and eventually into Indonesia.