Current Affairs

World Polio Day: October 24

The World Polio Day is observed annually across the world on 24 October to create awareness about hazards of the crippling Polio disease.
World Polio Day: October 24
  • The day was instituted by Rotary International to commemorate birth of Jonas Salk who had led first team of researchers which had developed vaccine against poliomyelitis (polio virus).
  • This development had led to widespread use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequently use of oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin.
  • It also had led to establishment of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 which has helped to reduce polio worldwide by 99%.

About Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI):

  • GPEI launched in 1988 has played a pivotal role in eradication of wild poliovirus. 
  • When it was launched, wild poliovirus existed in 125 countries.
  • Now, it exists in two countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Till 2012, Nigeria, Africa's most populous country was reservoir of more than half of the Polio cases in the world.
  • But in 2015, it was removed from list of Polio endemic countries by World Health Organization (WHO).

The Poliovirus:

  • Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5.
  • The virus is transmitted from person-to-person.
  • It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food).
  • After entering body, it multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  • Its initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs.
  • In some cases, it causes permanent paralysis.
  • There is no cure for polio, however it can only be prevented by immunization. 
  • Polio vaccine is given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life.


Q. What is observed annually across the world on 24 October to create awareness about hazards of a serious disease?
a. The World Hepatitis Day
b. The World Polio Day
c. The World Malaria Day
d. None of the above
World Polio Day: October 24 World Polio Day: October 24 Reviewed by Inderjeet Virdi on October 27, 2018 Rating: 5

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