FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

CDC reports possible risk of polio spreading to polio-free countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Friday that details the possible risk for wild poliovirus to spread from infected regions to currently polio-free countries.

The report details the accounts of WPV in Nigeria, which remain uninterrupted, and in other areas in Africa. Afghanistan and Pakistan are also home to outbreaks of WPV.

Since 2003, WPV outbreaks have occurred in parts of Africa and then spread to 21 other previously polio-free countries. Though these outbreaks and possible transmissions have been monitored by the World Health Organization and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, polio outbreaks were confirmed in May 2013 and are still ongoing.

As of September 10, a total of 178 WPV type 1 cases have been reported in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. These cases of WPV come after the disease was imported from an area in western Africa.

With the threat of WPV traveling to other countries, monitoring and immunization activities are being done. Supplemental immunization activities are conducted on national immunization days to combat this recent threat. WPV surveillance efforts are being strengthened by improving surveillance reviews, program assessments and surveillance training in the western African region is taking place to detect possible WPV cases and determine where they might have been imported from or where they might be imported to.