WHO: David L. Heymann, M.D., who leads the worldwide polio eradication effort for the World Health Organization (WHO)
Robert A. Keegan, deputy director, Global Immunization Division, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Heidi J. Larson, Ph.D., senior advisor, Immunization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, UNICEF
Louis Piconi, chair, Polio Eradication Fundraising Campaign Committee for North America, Rotary International
WHAT: Press briefing to discuss status of global polio eradication efforts and challenges to achieving a polio-free world by 2008
WHEN: 12:40 p.m., Tuesday, April 12
WHERE: Room 701, University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave.
Reporters may participate via telephone conference call by dialing 800-860-2442 and referencing "polio briefing."
WHY: Because of the development of the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, polio was eliminated from the Americas in 1994, but it still circulates in Asia and Africa. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by WHO, Rotary International, UNICEF and the CDC, was established in 1988 and seeks to make all countries polio-free. According to WHO, there currently are 1,263 polio cases worldwide and six countries where the virus is endemic. These are Nigeria, Niger, Egypt, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Salk polio vaccine, Pitt is holding a two-day symposium, "Remembering Polio: The History and Future of Vaccine Development." More information is available at http://newsbureau.upmc.com/MediaKits/Polio50thAnniversaryMain.htm
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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