In 1988, the World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a historic resolution to eradicate polio by the year 2000, resulting in the creation of the largest public–private partnership for health—the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). When GPEI was launched, wild polio virus (WPV) was endemic in 125 countries and resulted annually in the paralysis of more than 350,000 people, mainly children. By 2000, the number of endemic countries had been reduced to 20, with the last WPV type 2 case occurring in 1999.

Earlier we had reported that the recurring annual seasonal outbreaks in Muzaffarpur district, Bihar, of what used to be considered viral encephalitis and called 'acute encephalitis syndrome' since no virus could be detected, is acute encephalopathy. Our report was based on a limited study and retrospective analysis of case records.

Original Source

One among three long-standing mystery diseases listed in Wikipedia is acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. This disease has remained for over two decades without determining a cause for; hence it is called mystery disease. It occurs annual seasonal outbreaks during the months of April-July, affecting hundreds of children with 40-60% mortality, according to local physicians.

Original Source

India's success in eliminating wild polioviruses (WPVs) has been acclaimed globally. Since the last case on January 13, 2011 success has been sustained for two years. By early 2014 India could be certified free of WPV transmission, if no indigenous transmission occurs, the chances of which is considered zero. Until early 1990s India was hyperendemic for polio, with an average of 500 to 1000 children getting paralysed daily.

India has just won a landmark victory in the long-drawn-out war on polio. Fourteen months have gone since 13 January 2011 without a single case of polio caused by wild poliovirus (WPV). But how sure are we that in this vast country, with about 125 million under-five children and a poorly performing health management system, there is no case of wild virus polio? Rest assured, India’s polio eradication project is a shining example of how India can pull itself together, even without a robust infrastructure, and solve ad hoc, specific problems. India has really eliminated WPVs.

The life cycle of the malaria parasite in Anopheles mosquitoes was discovered in India in the 19th century by Ronald Ross, and it won him the Nobel prize in early 20th century.