Surveillance Systems to Track Progress Toward Global Polio Eradication — Worldwide, 2012–2013
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Surveillance Systems to Track Progress Toward Global Polio Eradication — Worldwide, 2012–2013

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      In 2012, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared completion of polio eradication a programmatic emergency. Polio cases are detected through surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases and subsequent testing of stool specimens for polioviruses (PVs) at WHO-accredited laboratories within the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN). AFP surveillance is supplemented by environmental surveillance, testing sewage samples from selected sites for PVs. Virologic surveillance, including genomic sequencing to identify isolates by genotype and measure divergence between isolates, guides Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) activities by confirming the presence of PV, tracking chains of PV transmission, and highlighting gaps in AFP surveillance quality. This report provides AFP surveillance quality indicators at national and subnational levels during 2012-2013 for countries that experienced PV cases during 2009-2013 in the WHO African Region (AFR) and Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), the remaining polio-endemic regions. It also summarizes the results of environmental surveillance and reviews indicators assessing the timeliness of reporting of PV isolation and of virus strain characterization globally. Regional-level performance indicators for timely reporting of PV isolation were met in five of six WHO regions in 2012 and 2013. Of 30 AFR and EMR countries that experienced cases of PV (wild poliovirus [WPV], circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus [cVDPV], or both) during 2009-2013, national performance indicator targets for AFP surveillance and collection of adequate specimens were met in 27 (90%) countries in 2012 and 22 (73%) in 2013. In 17 (57%) countries, ≥80% of the population lived in subnational areas meeting both AFP performance indicators in 2012, decreasing to 13 (43%) in 2013. To achieve polio eradication and certify interruption of PV transmission, intensive efforts to strengthen and maintain AFP surveillance are needed at subnational levels, including in field investigation and prompt collection of specimens, particularly in countries with current or recent active PV transmission.
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