Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

138 Shares
138 Shares
TueOct 24

World Polio Day – October 24, 2023

World Polio Day is annually observed on October 24. This day commemorates global efforts toward a polio-free future, as well as the selfless sacrifices of those working on the frontline of the battle to eradicate polio from every corner of the world. Polio is contagious due to the ease with which the poliovirus spreads. Although the virus is now exceedingly rare because of modern interventions, it can impair the brain regions that govern respiration, resulting in death. Polio, which has no recognized therapy, can only be avoided through vaccination.

History of World Polio Day

For thousands of years, humans have been infected with the poliovirus. An Egyptian artifact from around 1400 B.C. depicts a person with a polio-like limb deformity. For most of the 1800s, polio appeared to be a relatively uncommon disease among human populations. When other diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis were on the wane in the early 1900s, polio reached pandemic proportions in countries with relatively good living standards. Researchers believe that enhanced hygiene has resulted in an increase in polio cases.

According to a hypothesis, children were inadvertently exposed to polio in the past due to polluted water supplies. If maternal antibodies are still present in babies’ blood, their immune systems can quickly attack the poliovirus and establish long-term immunity. Increased sanitation meant that polio exposure was delayed for years, on average, until a kid had lost maternal protection and was more vulnerable to polio’s most severe form.

In 1994, the Western Hemisphere was declared polio-free thanks to extensive vaccination. Only Afghanistan and Pakistan are affected by it, with the occasional spread to other nations. Vaccination campaigns are being conducted aggressively to eliminate the last residual pockets. As a result, polio vaccines are still recommended all over the world, particularly for children under the age of five, who are the most vulnerable to the infection.

World Polio Day timeline

1970s
Immunization Efforts In Developing countries

As a result of surveys, vaccines are being introduced in several developing countries to help control polio.

1985
Rotary International

Rotary International launches a global effort to vaccinate children against polio.

1988
Global Polio Eradication Initiative

This public-private partnership coordinates a strategy to stop polio on a worldwide scale.

2019
Type Three Eradicated

The global eradication of this type of polio is announced in October.

World Polio Day FAQs

What are the signs and symptoms of polio?

If you or someone you love has been exposed to the virus, the first signs and symptoms you may notice are high fever, exhaustion, headache, nausea, stiff neck, paralysis, difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking, and pain in the limbs.

After getting vaccinated, is it still possible to catch polio?

Yes, you can get polio even if you are inoculated against it. Immune-compromised people can contract polio from children who have recently had a polio vaccination.

Which three polio kinds are there?

Three wild polioviruses (W.P.V.s) have been identified: type one, type two, and type three. The polio vaccine is the best way to prevent polio, as it offers protection against all three types of the virus.

How to Observe World Polio Day

  1. Donate to the cause

    One of the most important things you can do to help stop polio is to offer your time, money, or voice to spread the word. Donating in whatever form you like helps a lot.

  2. Host fundraisers

    You can help stop polio by arranging a fundraiser. It can be a walk, a run, an event, or anything else, and the cash earned will be donated to one of the numerous groups fighting to eradicate polio.

  3. Vaccinate your children

    If you have not already done so, you can vaccinate your children against polio. Because there are asymptotic poliovirus carriers who can still spread the disease, it is critical to protect everyone by vaccinating every child.

5 Interesting Facts About Polio

  1. Children are mostly affected

    Polio (poliomyelitis) primarily affects children under the age of five.

  2. Irreversible paralysis

    One in 200 infections results in permanent paralysis and when their respiratory muscles become immobilized, 5% to 10% of paralyzed people die.

  3. Monitoring and immunization

    To combat other infectious diseases, many countries have increased their ability to monitor and immunize their populations through a global effort.

  4. Reduced cases

    There were around 350,000 cases of polio worldwide in 1988, however, this figure has since dropped to only 37 confirmed cases in 2016.

  5. One is far too many

    Polio can spread across the globe as long as there is a single person who is still carrying the disease.

Why World Polio Day is Important

  1. It spreads knowledge

    World Polio Day raises awareness about the disease. With knowledge comes power, and we can use it to eradicate polio by playing our part in doing so.

  2. It helps save lives

    Many advances have been made in the fight to eradicate polio. One of humanity's great victories is that we have substantially reduced the number of cases, saving so many people from paralysis.

  3. It helps in eradicating polio

    The polio vaccine's goal is to eradicate the virus. To stop the virus's spread, eradication efforts will be maintained on this holiday by establishing mass immunization campaigns and expanding disease surveillance to catch any new instances that occur.

World Polio Day dates

YearDateDay
2023October 24Tuesday
2024October 24Thursday
2025October 24Friday
2026October 24Saturday
2027October 24Sunday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.