In 1988, the World Health Organization launched a campaign for global eradication of polio. Today, this goal is closer than ever. Fewer than 2,000 people died from the disease in 2002, down from approximately 350,000 in 1988. In ""The Death of a Disease,"" science writers Bernard Seytre and Mary Shaffer tell the dramatic story of this crippling virus that has evoked terror among parents and struck down healthy children for centuries. Beginning in ancient Egypt, the narrative explores the earliest stages of research, describes the wayward paths taken by a long line of scientists - each of whom made a vital contribution to understanding this enigmatic virus - and traces the development of Salk and Sabin vaccines. The book also tracks the contemporary polio story, detailing the remaining obstacles as well as the medical, governmental, and international health efforts that are currently being focused developing countries such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Niger. At a time when emerging diseases and the threat of bioterrorism are the focus of much media public attention, this book tells the story of a crippling disease that is on the verge of disappearing. In face of tremendous odds, the near-eradication of polio offers an inspiring story that is both encouraging instructive to those at the center of the continued fight against communicable diseases.