Polio

This boy could be one of the world's last victims of polio

This boy could be one of the world's last victims of polio

Khaksar’s family knew something was wrong when his fever didn’t break.

The 12-month-old wailed uncontrollably, tears streaming from his big brown eyes. His father visited a doctor in their lush, battle-scarred valley in eastern Afghanistan. But the pills he brought home did nothing.

After a week, the family bundled Khaksar into a taxi and rode for an hour and a half to the small hospital in Asadabad. Tests showed the boy had contracted a disease that is a relic of a past era: polio.

The narrow Sheltan valley, a haven for the Taliban and other insurgents along the border with Pakistan, is also one of the world’s last redoubts for the crippling...

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