Polio declared public health emergency of international concern: After several days of consultation with the Emergency Committee which was convened under the International Health Regulations, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has determined that the spread of wild poliovirus (WPV) to three countries – during what is normally the low-transmission season – is an 'extraordinary event' and a public health risk to other countries. Because a coordinated international response is essential to prevent this from worsening at the start of the high season for poliovirus transmission, the Director-General is declaring this to be a public health emergency of international concern. Currently 10 countries have active wild poliovirus outbreaks that could spread to other countries through the movement of people. From January to April this year – that is the low-transmission season for polio – the virus has been carried to three countries: in central Asia (from Pakistan to Afghanistan), in the Middle East (Syria to Iraq) and in Central Africa (Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea). More
The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) is convening this week in London, UK, to review the current status of the global polio eradication effort. The IMB’s report is anticipated to be published within two weeks of the meeting. For more information, including background meeting materials, please click here.
The Polio Research Committee (PRC) is meeting this week in Geneva, Switzerland, to review results from ongoing polio eradication research and identify any gaps which still need to be addressed.