LETTER: Support needed to eradicate polio

As long as it exists the disease can suddenly erupt and spread anywhere

Dear Editor:

The world has been fighting polio for almost 70 years, beating it back to tiny final reservoirs in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The goal is to at last eradicate this terrible, incurable disease as we did smallpox, and it’s within our reach.

Canadians tend to be complacent about infectious diseases “over there,” believing borders will protect them, yet AIDS, SARS, and numerous other diseases show this to be a false sense of security.

READ ALSO: New provincial health officer takes over in B.C.

READ ALSO: Philippines says 136 people have died in measles outbreak

And despite decades-long efforts, new polio cases suddenly appeared this fall in the Philippines and just now in Malaysia, a huge distance away from known sources.

As long as it exists the disease can suddenly erupt and spread anywhere, even to countries like Canada where so many increasingly refuse vaccinations.

Our grandparents will remember the dread of polio, perhaps even knew a victim.

Unlike them, we have a choice: the agencies responsible are heading a massive push to destroy this virus once and for all, but need money.

It’s critical that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledges Canada’s share of funding to complete this critical task.

Oliver Mark

Saanich

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