ATLANTA, July 8 (UPI) -- The rate of polio in Nigeria has declined this year, due to increased pressure for more vaccinations, U.S. health officials reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday said Nigeria has maintained a high incidence of wild poliovirus cases due to persistent high numbers of unvaccinated and undervaccinated children and as a result the country has served as the reservoir for polio that could have spread internationally.
In 2008, Nigeria reported the highest number of polio cases -- 798 -- than any country in the world. However, the number of polio cases dropped to 388 in 2009 and wild poliovirus incidence in Nigeria reached an all-time low from January to June of this year with only three reported cases, the report said.
The drop in polio cases is credited to increased involvement of traditional, religious and political leaders in prompting community acceptance of vaccination, the report said.