This little Peruvian boy (pictured above) is Luis Fermín Tenoria. Luis
was the last child in the Americas to be paralysed by indigenous wild
poliovirus, first showing symptoms of the disease on 5 September 1991.
More than twenty years later, the region is still free from polio. But this has not been without tremendous effort.
The global initiative to eradicate polio was inspired by the successes seen in the Americas during the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, mass immunization campaigns using oral polio vaccine in Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the United States demonstrated that transmission of the disease could be effectively stopped. In 1985, the Pan American Health Organization committed itself to eradicating the disease. Three years later, the World Health Assembly (the World Health Organization's governing body) pledged to eradicate poliovirus from the entire globe, leading to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Ever since transmission was halted in the Americas, health officials have maintained a close watch for any imported poliovirus. Earlier this year, for instance, representatives of the Haitian Ministry of Health, along with WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visited Port-de-Paix, Haiti, to confirm that several cases of paralysis among recovering cholera patients were not the result of poliovirus.
This continued vigilance remains necessary, as re-infection will always be a possibility as long as transmission of poliovirus continues elsewhere. WHO's European Region, which was declared 'polio free' in 2002, suffered from a large outbreak just last year, when wild poliovirus spread from India, to Tajikistan, to Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. Similarly, the WHO Western Pacific Region, certified polio free in 2000, is currently facing an outbreak in China. But for more than 20 years, children across the Americas have been free from the fear of contracting polio.Photo: ©Armando Waak-PAHO/WHO
BULLETINS - 2011
BULLETINS - 2010
BULLETINS - 2009
HIGHLIGHTS - 2014
- Polio Highlight (27) - 05 July 2014 Maintaining the accreditation of the polio laboratories of the Americas. On-site visits to Polio Laboratory Network, 2012-2014
- Polio Highlight (26) - 28 June 2014 Percentage of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) cases investigated < 48 hours, Region of the Americas 1988-2014*
- Polio Highlight (25) - 21 June 2014
Detection of imported wild poliovirus in environmental samples - Epidemiological Alert, 21 June 2014
- Polio Highlight (24) - 14 June 2014 Percentage of AFP Cases with Adequate Stool Specimens Collected by Country, Last 52 Weeks - Latin America & Caribbean
- Polio Highlight (23) - 07 June 2014 Average of Days Between Sample Taken Date & Result Date, Latin America, 2014
- Polio Highlight (22) - 31 May 2014 Progress towards polio eradication worldwide, 2013–2014
- Polio Highlight (21) - 24 May 2014 Remembering a Hero
- Polio Highlight (20) - 17 May 2014 Districts with Cases Caused by Wild Polioviruses, Previous 6 Months - Global
- Polio Highlight (19) - 10 May 2014 Proportion of 2013 Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) Cases Pending Classification by Country, The Americas
- Polio Highlight (18) - 3 May 2014 Polio declared public health emergency of international concern under International Health Regulations
- Polio Highlight (16) - 19 April 2014 Vaccination Week in the Americas, 26 April – 3 May 2014
- Polio Highlight (15) - 12 April 2014 Adequate Stool Collection Percentage
- Polio Highlight (14) - 05 April 2014 Non-Polio AFP Rate, Global
- Polio Highlight (13) - 29 March 2014 New polio cases in Equatorial Guinea and Iraq
- Polio Highlight (12) - 22 March 2014 WHO South-East Asia Region (SEARO) Certified Polio-free
- Polio Highlight (11) - 15 March 2014 Proportion of 2013 Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) Cases Pending Classification by Country, The Americas
- Polio Highlight (10) - 08 March 2014 Wild Poliovirus (WPV) Cases - Year to Date Comparison, 2013 - 2014
- Polio Highlight (09) - 01 March 2014 Wild Polio Virus Cases 2009-2014, Global
- Polio Highlight (08) - 22 February 2014 New WHO position paper on polio vaccines (2014)
- Polio Highlight (07) - 15 February 2014 Proportion of 2013 Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) Cases Pending Classification by Country, The Americas
- Polio Highlight (06) - 08 February 2014 Circulating Vaccine-derived Poliovirus Cases, 2000-2014 - Global
- Polio Highlight (05) - 01 February 2014 353 2013 AFP cases are pending classification. PAHO urges countries to classify their 2013 AFP cases.
- Polio Highlight (04) - 25 January 2014 Wild Poliovirus Infected Districts - Global, 2012-2013
- Polio Highlight (03) - 18 January 2014 Adequate Stool Collection Percentage - Global
- Polio Highlight (02) - 11 January 2014 India three years polio-free
- Polio Highlight (01) - 04 January 2014 Acute Flaccid Paralysis Rate per 100,000 children <15 years of Age, The Americas, 2013