New Vaccine to Fight Polio

 

Scientists have created a new polio vaccine that may help wipe out the disease altogether.

A research study has shown that the new vaccine already produces better results at protecting children than the common polio vaccine. It has already been tested in Afghanistan, India and Nigeria.

Polio is an infectious disease which can deform bodies and paralyze children. It mostly hits children under the age of 5 and can spread quickly in overcrowded areas with poor sanitation. There is no cure for polio. Polio is especially hard to combat because about 90% of those infected have no symptoms at all. The disease was first discovered in 1840. Throughout the 19th century and the first half of the twentieth century polio was the most widespread disease among children.

After mass vaccination programs started in the 1950s polio vanished in developed countries but it has all but disappeared in poor countries of Asia and Africa.

Child receiving polio vaccine in India

Child receiving polio vaccine in India

 

The number of polio cases has been going down constantly in the last 20 years. In 1988 there were still 350,000 polio cases in about 125 countries around the world. In 2009 the number has dropped to 1600 cases in four countries.

Recently , researchers have carried out experiments on new born babies in India. According to the results, the new drug is about 30% more effective than the older one. Besides the new vaccine, immunization programs in Third World countries have also contributed to the significant decrease in polio. Pharmaceutical companies play an important part in the fight against polio because they offer the new vaccine at the same price as the older one.

While the old polio vaccine targets either one or all three types of the disease the new one combats the two more dangerous types. Children can get full immunization with only one dose of the vaccine. Within the next there years scientists hope to wipe out the disease completely.

 

 

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Words

  • according to = as said by…
  • besides = apart from, in addition to
  • case = example, situation
  • century = a hundred years
  • combat = fight against
  • common = ordinary, not special
  • completely = fully, totally
  • constantly = steadily, always
  • contribute = to play a part in
  • decrease = to go down
  • deform = to change in shape or size
  • developed country = rich or industrialized country
  • discover = to find for the first time
  • disease = illness
  • dose = the amount of medicine that you should take
  • drug = medicine, vaccine
  • effective = useful, helpful
  • especially = very, above all
  • immunization = to protect someone from a certain disease by giving them medicine
  • infectious = a disease that can be passed on from one person to another
  • mass vaccination = to protect most of the people living in an area by giving them medicine
  • overcrowded = with too many people
  • paralyze = you cannot feel anything and cannot move parts of your body
  • pharmaceutical company = company that produces drugs, vaccines and other medicine
  • protect = defend, guard
  • recently = lately , in the last few months or years
  • research study = to examine a topic in order to find out more about it
  • sanitation = to protect people by removing waste and cleaning dirty water
  • scientist = a person who is trained in science or who works in a laboratory
  • significant = important
  • spread = to move from one place to another
  • symptom = sign that a disease exists in your body
  • target = aim at
  • throughout = in all of
  • vaccine = a substance with a weak form of a virus that causes a disease
  • vanish = disappear , go away
  • widespread = common
  • wipe out = to make something go away completely