Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Europe to Be Certified Free of Polio. (WHO News)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Europe to Be Certified Free of Polio. (WHO News)

Article excerpt

The 51 Member States (1) of WHO's European Region, comprising 870 million people, can now be certified free of polio. The announcement was made in Copenhagen on 21 June by the European Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (RCC).

The European Region has been free of indigenous polio for over three years. Its last case of indigenous wild-virus poliomyelitis occurred in eastern Turkey in 1998, when a two-year-old unvaccinated boy was paralysed by the disease. Poliovirus imported from other countries remains a threat. In 2001, there were three polio cases among Roma children in Bulgaria and one non-paralytic case in Georgia--all caused by poliovirus originating from the Indian subcontinent.

Of the recent importations, Sir Joseph Smith, Chairman of the RCC, said, "We are satisfied that all measures were taken to ensure that wild poliovirus imported into the Region did not lead to ongoing circulation. All evidence confirms that. However, our work does not stop here. Throughout the European Region, ongoing vaccination and surveillance are vital. …

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