January 14, 2012
NEW DELHI — India is about to hit a milestone in its battle to eradicate the polio virus with no new cases reported in the past year, the country’s health minister said on Thursday, a dramatic drop from being the country worst affected by the crippling disease.
The last case was detected on Jan. 13, 2011, in a 2-year-old girl in the country’s east. A full year without any new cases means India will no longer be classed as “polio-endemic” by the World Health Organization, leaving only Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
“We are excited and hopeful, at the same time, vigilant and alert,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad in a statement, cautioning it was still important to remain vigilant.
“This giant leap towards polio containment in a short span of two years is an
endorsement of India’s tireless and persistent efforts.”
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