Egypt may have eradicated the polio virus

January 25, 2006

Scientists believe the world's first cases of polio occurred about 5,000 years ago in Egypt, but now that nation has apparently eradicated the virus.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization says no new cases of poliomyelitis have been reported in Egypt during the past year, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The WHO, pending a final review, is expected to announce next week that Egypt and Niger have eradicated the disease, leaving only four nations that have yet to stop transmission: Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Only one disease affecting humans, smallpox, has ever been completely eradicated, the Globe said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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