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Polio Highlight

353 2013 AFP cases are pending classification

PAHO urges countries to classify their 2013 AFP cases.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 15:52

India three years polio-free

Wild poliovirus has not been found in India since 13 January 2011 meaning that, from that date, India is no longer a country where polio is endemic. Three years of being polio free is a notable milestone for the country as a whole, but the success of the immunization and awareness campaign has had a wider impact – with this achievement, it is hoped that soon the entire South-East Asia Region can be considered certifiably free from polio. A commission of experts will meet at the World Health Organization offices at the end of March to analyze the data and determine the polio status for the Region.

Historically, India has been the largest endemic reservoir of polio in the world with between 50 000 to 100 000 paralytic polio cases occurring each year between 1978 and 1995. It has also been one of the main sources of polio importation for other countries. This achievement has been driven by the partnership between the Government of India, international organizations, local NGOs and other institutions. An extraordinary mobilization of health workers was necessary to reach this point, particularly in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states. The outcome of this has been an improved vaccine delivery system, better trained health staff and high quality surveillance, monitoring and research mechanisms.

This does not mean that the virus cannot reemerge within any of the countries or the Region. There is no room for complacency with ongoing polio vaccination work. High immunity levels must continue in order to protect those in the Region and as newer, more comprehensive interventions are developed, these too need to be rolled out. Furthermore, whilst no new cases of wild polio have been recorded recently, the disease in different forms can be brought in to the Region via those who have contracted it in other parts of the world and then travel to South-East Asia.

Source: SEARO/WHO

Original article: http://www.searo.who.int/mediacentre/features/2014/sea-polio/en/index.html  

 

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Nigeria, January 2012–September 2013

In 2012, the Nigerian government activated an emergency operations center and implemented a national emergency action plan to eradicate polio. The 2013 revision of this plan prioritized

1) improving quality of supplemental immunization activities (SIAs),

2) implementing strategies to reach underserved populations,

3) adopting special approaches in security-compromised areas,

4) improving outbreak response,

5) enhancing routine immunization and activities implemented between SIAs, and

6) strengthening surveillance.

This report summarizes polio eradication activities in Nigeria during January 2012–September 2013 and updates previous reports.

Source: MMWR Weekly December 13, 2013 / 62(49); 1009-1013.
Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6249a5.htm

The draft strategic plan for outbreak response in the Middle East

The draft strategic plan for outbreak response in the Middle East is now available online at the following link:

http://www.polioeradication.org/Portals/0/Document/InfectedCountries/MiddleEast/ME_StrategicPlan_draft.pdf

Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative  www.polioeradication.org

 

Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 12:17

Polio in the Syrian Arab Republic - update

11 November 2013 - Thirteen cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) have been confirmed in the Syrian Arab Republic. Genetic sequencing indicates that the isolated viruses are most closely linked to virus detected in environmental samples in Egypt in December 2012 (which in turn had been linked to wild poliovirus circulating in Pakistan). Closely related wild poliovirus strains have also been detected in environmental samples in Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip since February 2013. Wild poliovirus had not been detected in the Syrian Arab Republic since 1999.

A comprehensive outbreak response continues to be implemented across the region. On 24 October 2013, an already-planned large-scale supplementary immunization activity was launched in the Syrian Arab Republic to vaccinate 1.6 million children against polio, measles, mumps and rubella, in both government-controlled and contested areas. Implementation of a supplementary immunization campaign in Deir Al Zour province commenced promptly when the first ‘hot’ acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases were reported. Larger-scale outbreak response across the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries will continue for at least 6-8 months depending on the area and based on the evolving situation.

Given the current situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, frequent population movements across the region and the immunization level in key areas, the risk of further international spread of wild poliovirus type 1 across the region is considered to be high. A surveillance alert has been issued for the region to actively search for additional potential cases.

WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travellers to and from polio-infected areas be fully vaccinated against polio

Source: WHO

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