Polio this week - as of 9 April 2014
First mass vaccination campaigns started in the Middle East since a polio case was reported in Iraq. Polio vaccination campaigns commenced in Syria, Iraq and Egypt on 6 April and Turkey on 7 April, aiming to reach more than 20 million children over five days. For Iraq, this is the first nationwide vaccination campaign since a case of polio in a six-month-old boy from northern Baghdad was confirmed by the Ministry of Health on 30 March.
Last week, WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) convened in Geneva. In addition to reviewing the global epidemiology of polio transmission, SAGE endorsed the updates made to the existing WHO vaccination recommendations for travelers from polio-infected countries in International Travel and Health (ITH). Additionally, SAGE reviewed progress towards setting a confirmed date for the trivalent to bivalent OPV switch, which requires the absence of persistent circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) for at least six months globally.
SAGE expressed alarm at the persistent cVDPV2s in northern Nigeria and Pakistan, highlighting that these areas overlapped with some of the last wild poliovirus (WPV) reservoirs in the world. Stopping circulating of both cVDPV2s and WPVs requires addressing gaps in supplementary immunization activity (SIA) quality, increasing access and using an appropriate mix of trivalent and bivalent OPV over the coming months. A summary of the SAGE meeting is available here. The full SAGE meeting report will be published in the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) on 23 May 2014.
A new WPV1 case was reported this week from Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea. The case had an onset of paralysis on 19 March. It is the second WPV1 case in the country, since the outbreak in neighbouring Cameroon spread to Equatorial Guinea recently. Outbreak response activities in both countries are being intensified. In March, WHO had elevated its risk assessment of further international spread from Cameroon to very high, due to geographic expansion of infected areas in the country, gap - See more at: http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx#sth...