U.N. Declares Polio Emergency

The United Nations' World Health Organization declared the spread of polio an international health emergency on Monday. An emergency committee in Geneva said that Syria, Pakistan, and Cameroon had allowed the virus to spread to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Equatorial Guinea, respectively. The emergency committee said that although the virus primarily affects children, there was “increasing evidence that adult travelers contributed to this spread.” Polio was once considered nearly eradicated, but the emergency committee said in a statement, “If unchecked, this situation could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious vaccine-preventable diseases.”