WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

ECDC issues update on polio in Israel

Wild poliovirus type I remained isolated in wastewater treatment plants throughout Israel with some areas indicating discontinued or inconsistent detection through October 3, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Tuesday.

In the latest update, the ECDC said there were no new sites in Israel with WPV1 in sewage detected since the bivalent oral polio vaccine immunization campaign began in August. According to the latest communication from the Israeli Ministry of Health, WPV1 disappeared from the sewerage of Iron, Baqa Al-Gharbiyye and Jerusalem, though testing will continue due to erratic WPV1 appearance.

Towns with inconsistent WPV1 activity in wastewater treatment plants include Lod, Qiryat Gat, Ramle and Jaljulye. Towns with a significant presence of WPV1 activity in wastewater treatment plants included Arara, Shoket, Kuseife, Tel Sheva, Be'er Sheva and Rahat.

In February, WPV1 was first isolated from sewage samples collected during routine environmental surveillance in southern Israel. The virus was subsequently isolated in stool samples from 42 carriers tested in an area of WPV1 circulation. No clinical cases of paralytic polio were reported to date.

On September 26, the ECDC recommended that European Union and European Economic Area Member States conduct a thorough assessment of polio vaccination uptake, strengthen environmental, enterovirus and other types of supplementary surveillance, ensure that all travelers to WPV circulating areas have up-to-date polio vaccination status and put operational and contingency plans in the EU/EEA to mobilize polio vaccine stockpiles in case of evidence of WPV transmission.

The current update did not change the suggested recommendations.