Thirty years ago, the polio virus was rampant in more than 120 countries, responsible for the paralysis of about 350,000 people each year. Today, there are only 12 documented cases of the disease in just two nations — and, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this once-prevalent illness may be wiped off the face of the planet by the end of 2017.

Speaking at Rotary International’s World Polio Day event on Tuesday, which was co-hosted by the Gates Foundation, Dr. Jay Wenger, the director of the foundation’s polio eradication program, said humanity had successfully reached “the endgame of polio eradication.”

“We are closer than ever, and we’re optimistic that we can see the end of wild poliovirus disease by as early as this year,” Wenger said, according to CNBC.

To mark World Polio Day, Rotary International and the Gates Foundation roped in WWE star John Cena to spread the word about polio eradication efforts. .. see more

source: huffingtonpost