Statement of the Seventeenth IHR Emergency Committee Regarding the International Spread of Poliovirus, 10 May 2018

ECDC comment

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). 

Read more on the ECDC website

Publication

Rapid risk assessment: International spread of wild-type poliovirus in 2014 declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the International Health Regulations (IHR) – May 2014

Risk assessment -