GPEI – Update: Polio this week – As of 18 September 2013

Update: Polio this week – As of 18 September 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Full report:
[Editor’s extract and bolded text]

:: The next meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) will take place on 1-2 October, in London, UK. The IMB will review latest epidemiology and programme developments, and is expected to issue its report as usual within two weeks of the meeting.
:: Due to the Horn of Africa outbreak, the bulk of polio cases this year (over two-thirds) are in countries which were previously polio-free. In endemic countries, cases are down 40% over the same period last year, indicating progress particularly in Afghanistan and Nigeria.

:: One new WPV1 case was reported in the past week (from Borno), bringing the total number of WPV1 cases for 2013 to 47. The most recent WPV1 case in the country had onset of paralysis on 17 August (from Taraba)…

Horn of Africa
:: Seven new WPV1 cases were reported in the past week, six from Somalia and one from Kenya. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2013 in the Horn of Africa is 185 (169 from Somalia, 15 from Kenya and one from Ethiopia). The most recent WPV1 case in the region had onset of paralysis on 14 August (from Somalia)…

WHO: Global Alert and Response (GAR) – Disease Outbreak News
Disease outbreak news

Poliovirus detected from environmental samples in Israel and West Bank and Gaza Strip
21 September 2013 – WHO considers the risk of further international spread of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) from Israel to be high. The risk assessment reflects evidence of increasing geographic extent of WPV1 circulation in Israel over a prolonged period of time. Recently,    WPV1 has also been isolated from sewage samples collected by the Palestinian Authority , both in West Bank and the Gaza Strip. No cases of paralytic polio have been reported by Israel or the Palestinian Authority.

Health authorities of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have taken steps to respond to the threat posed by WPV1 circulation by strengthening surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis and increasing the frequency of environmental sample collection. A supplementary immunization activity with bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) is being conducted in Israel since early August, targeting children up to nine years of age to rapidly interrupt WPV1 circulation. As of now, 60 percent of the 1.38 million children targeted in Israel have been vaccinated. Health authorities of the Palestinian Authority are preparing to conduct two supplementary immunization activities with trivalent OPV in the Gaza Strip and in West Bank.

It is important that all polio-free countries, in particular those with frequent travel and contacts with poliovirus-affected countries and areas, strengthen surveillance for cases of acute flaccid paralysis in order to rapidly detect any new virus importations and to facilitate a rapid response. Countries, territories and areas should also maintain uniformly high routine immunization coverage at the district level to minimize the consequences of any new virus introduction.

WHO’s ‘International Travel and Health’ recommends that all travellers to and from poliovirus-affected countries and areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Three countries remain endemic for indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus virus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.   Additionally, in 2013, the Horn of Africa has been affected by an outbreak of wild poliovirus type 1.