Polio virus typically affects children, resulting in one leg being paralyzed, but it can also affect other areas of the body and cause death in people of all ages.
In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic peaked with nearly 58,000 cases reported, including 3,145 deaths and 21,269 cases of disabling paralysis.
The United States is now polio free due to immunization, but the virus is only a plane ride away from any place where polio exists.
There is no cure, but you can be immunized, and polio can be eliminated entirely with worldwide immunization.
An effort to eradicate polio worldwide began in 1988, led by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and The Rotary Foundation.  Since then, polio cases have dropped a staggering 99.9 percent, from nearly 350,000 cases a year to only five cases reported this year.
Bill Gates, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been working with Rotary since 2007 to help fund the effort to eradicate polio.
Gates, speaking on 12 June at the Rotary International Convention said: “Rotary laid the foundation with its unwavering sense of purpose and its belief that anything is possible if you put your mind and body to it." Gates noted that more than 16 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed by polio are walking today.
As members of Rotary, we are proud to support this program. Last year we raised over $15,000 which was matched 2 to 1 by the Gates Foundation, resulting in over $45,000 contributed.
Watch Bill Gates’ speech to the Rotary International Convention.

Online PolioPlus contributions can be made quickly, easily, and securely on any device, including tablets and phones at the PolioPlus Donate page.