Source: LA Times
Southeast Asia is officially polio free according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The region, comprising of Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste, is the fourth of six worldwide regions to earn a polio-free status. In 1995, the Americas became the first region WHO declared polio-free, followed by the Western Pacific region in 2000 and the European region in 2002.
Polio is a viral disease that affects the nervous system and often spreads through regions with poor sanitation largely affecting children under age 5. Although the WHO said 80% of the world’s population now live in polio-free regions, officials note more work is needed, especially in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, where the disease remains prevalent.
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Juhi Mawla, Intern, email@example.com