Infectious diseases are one of the biggest problems facing the modern world, but thankfully there are a few less we have to worry about. For example, smallpox was wiped off the map in the 1970s. The World Health Organization and other government organizations around the world are hard at work eradicating the diseases in this gallery.
First up is the disease that's closest to being wiped out. Poliomyelitis, better known as Polio, was a worldwide epidemic before the development of a vaccine in the 1950s. This nasty disease causes inflammation of the spinal cord, muscle paralysis, and difficulty breathing. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative began in 1988 with the goal of eradicating the disease by the year 2000. While Polio still exists in the world today, reported cases of the disease have not exceeded 2,000 worldwide for the past decade.