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Progress Toward Polio Eradication — Worldwide, January 2017–March 2019
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  • Pubmed ID:
    31120868
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6532951
  • Description:
    Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) began in 1988, transmission of wild poliovirus (WPV) has been interrupted in all countries except Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. WPV type 2 (WPV2) was declared eradicated in 2015; WPV type 3 has not been detected since 2012 (1). After the certification of the eradication of WPV2, a global switch from trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (tOPV, containing vaccine virus types 1, 2, and 3) to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (bOPV, containing types 1 and 3) was completed in April 2016. Nigeria last reported WPV type 1 (WPV1) cases in 2016. This report describes global progress toward poliomyelitis eradication during January 1, 2017-March 31, 2019, and updates previous reports (1,2). Afghanistan and Pakistan reported their lowest annual number of WPV cases (22) in 2017; however, 33 WPV1 cases were reported in 2018. During January-March 2019 (as of May 3), 12 WPV1 cases had been reported worldwide, four more than the eight reported during the corresponding period in 2018. The occurrence of polio cases caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) is rare and occurs where oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) coverage has been low and vaccine virus reverts to neurovirulence (3). Eight countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC], Indonesia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, and Syria) reported 210 cVDPV cases during 2017-2019 (as of May 3). Reaching children during supplemental immunization activities (SIAs), accessing mobile populations at high risk, and variations in surveillance performance represent ongoing challenges. Innovative efforts to vaccinate every child and strengthen coordination efforts between Afghanistan and Pakistan will help achieve eradication. For cVDPV outbreak responses to promptly stop transmission, intensified programmatic improvements are needed to make the responses more effective and limit the risk for generating future outbreaks.

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