World Polio Day – October 24, 2012 [MMWR Announcement]

The MMWR Weekly for October 19, 2012 / Vol. 61 / No. 41 includes:
Announcement: World Polio Day — October 24, 2012

World Polio Day (October 24) was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus vaccine developed by Albert Sabin led to establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. Since then, GPEI has reduced polio worldwide by 99%; however, in 2012, transmission of indigenous wild poliovirus has continued uninterrupted in three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) (1). In April 2012, the World Health Assembly declared the completion of polio eradication a programmatic emergency for global public health (2).

As of October 9, 2012, a total of 162 polio cases had been reported during the year, with 97% reported from three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan). The number of polio cases reported is the lowest number ever recorded worldwide during a 9-month period.

Eradication of polio is an important public health priority for CDC. On December 2, 2011, the CDC Emergency Operations Center was activated to strengthen the agency’s partnership engagement through GPEI. Additional information regarding CDC’s polio eradication activities is available at http://www.cdc.gov/polio/updates, and additional information about GPEI and the global partnership is available at http://www.polioeradication.org.

References

CDC. Progress toward poliomyelitis eradication—Afghanistan and Pakistan, January 2011–August 2012. MMWR 2012;61:790–5.

2. World Health Assembly. Poliomyelitis: intensification of the global eradication initiative. Agenda item A65/20. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2012. Available at http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/wha65/A65_20-en.pdf  Accessed October 15, 2012.