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We must finish eradicating polio

Since 1988, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide.

For us, it’s deeply personal because we’re polio survivors. We are asking everyone to help finish the job and end polio for good.

Throughout our state, we speak about the realities of the poliovirus and encourage pediatric vaccine acceptance. Together we must continue the march toward global eradication.

Last summer, polio paralyzed a 20-year-old man in New York. Polio was eradicated in the U.S. in 1979, yet because of lack of vaccination, we have been added to a list of outbreak countries. There are hundreds of asymptomatic poliovirus infections for each paralytic case, meaning that many of those infected with polio were so mildly affected that they didn’t know they'd had the virus. Just because someone had no or minor flu-like symptoms doesn’t mean that the poliovirus didn’t do damage to neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

We have an opportunity to make history by ending polio, making it the second disease in history to be eradicated through the use of vaccination.

Donate to the Rotary Foundation. For every dollar you donate, the Gates Foundation will triple it.

The PA Polio Survivors Network, managed by and for polio survivors and their caregivers, has become a part of the solution. Please join us. If polio exists anywhere, it is a threat to children everywhere.

Joe Randig, Western Pennsylvania Coordinator Butler County

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