Polio this week
The data table below is as of 30 April 2014
- The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, is convening an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations to advise on whether the current developments on the spread of poliovirus constitute a public health emergency of international concern and, if so, whether temporary recommendations are needed to reduce the risk and consequences of international spread. The Committee began consultations on 28 April 2014, and is expected to deliberate for several days.
- In Nigeria, the Expert Review Committee on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization (ERC) convened in Abuja from 23-24 April 2014, to review the current polio epidemiology in the country. The ERC concluded that as a result of significant programme improvements including significant decline in WPV cases and increase in the quality of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), the next 8 months are the most important period in Nigeria’s polio eradication programme. Waning political support during the upcoming election season, insecurity and complacency are now the major risks to achieving success. Through continued programme progress during the upcoming election season, continued accountability, improvements in SIA quality, and access to children in insecure areas, Nigeria can achieve success in 2014. See ‘Nigeria’ section for more information.
- WHO published its updated vaccination recommendations for travelers from polio-infected countries in its publication International Travel and Health (polio-related section on pages 33-35). These updates were endorsed at last month’s meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE). Polio vaccination recommendations for travelers from polio-infected countries should apply to all residents and visitors of all ages, who spend more than four weeks in the country. Resident travelers from polio-infected countries should have received one documented additional dose of OPV or IPV a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 12 months before each international travel. Travelers embarking on last minute/urgent travel that cannot be postponed should receive one dose of OPV or IPV before departure if they have not received a documented dose of polio vaccine within the past 12 months.
- One new cVDPV2 case has been reported in the past week from Africa. The case is currently under cross border investigation to determine country of onset (Nigeria or Cameroon).