Statement of the Seventeenth IHR Emergency Committee Regarding the International Spread of Poliovirus, 10 May 2018
The conclusions of the IHR Emergency Committee do not change the ECDC risk assessment for Europe.
Risk to Europe
The conclusions of the IHR Emergency Committee do not change the ECDC risk assessment for Europe. The continuing circulation of WPV1 in three countries shows that there is a continued risk for the disease being imported into the EU/EEA. Furthermore, the occurrence of outbreaks of cVDPVs, which only emerge and circulate due to lack of polio population immunity, shows the potential risk for further international spread.
ECDC previously concluded that in the event of importation of wild-type poliovirus resulting in the re-establishment of virus circulation in the EU, the overall risk to EU residents would be:
- very low in OPVvaccinated populations for both poliovirus infection and disease;
- moderate in IPVonly cohorts for poliovirus infection and very low for disease;
- high in low or unvaccinated groups for poliovirus infection and moderate for disease.
ECDC endorses the temporary recommendations of WHO for reducing the risk of international spread of WPV1 and cVDPVs, in particular with regards to EU/EEA citizens who are resident or long-term visitors (i.e. > four weeks) to States infected with WPV1, cVDPV1 or cVDPV3 (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria), and to States infected with cVDPV2 (Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Syrian Arab Republic).
Poliomyelitis, also known as polio or infantile paralysis, is a vaccine-preventable systemic viral infection affecting the motor neurons of the central nervous system (CNS). Historically, it has been a major cause of mortality, acute paralysis and lifelong disabilities but large scale immunisation programmes have eliminated polio from most areas of the world.Read more
Vaccination to prevent disease is commonplace in Europe today. Certain diseases have already been eradicated by rigorous vaccination campaigns, while others are hoped to be eliminated soon, such as measles and congenital rubella.Read more