The re-emergence of polio in Syria, which had been virtually eliminated in that country over the last two decades, inevitably will increase the misery of civilians caught up in the conflict. But it also has profound implications for the rest of the world. Thanks to a WHO-sponsored global vaccination initiative, polio had been on the brink of extinction for years worldwide, surviving only in a few remote pockets of eastern Pakistan, Afghanistan and northern Nigeria. Health officials had hoped to eradicate the disease entirely by 2018. But that date that may now have to be postponed as a result of its sudden resurgence in Syria.