02 Oct 2015

Polio affected countries: update to country status

Latest on WHO temporary recommendations to prevent the international spread of wild poliovirus Polio affected countries: update to country status

The 6th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee took place on August 17th, 2015.  The Committee met to reassess the situation following the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations to prevent the international spread of wild poliovirus (in force since May 2014).

It was agreed that the Temporary Recommendations would continue to apply to any states meeting the following criteria:

  • Currently exporting wild poliovirus (WPV).
  • Infected with wild poliovirus but not currently exporting.
  • No longer infected by wild poliovirus, but which remain vulnerable to international spread.

In addition, the Committee agreed that the Temporary Recommendations be extended for a further three months.

New criteria regarding the period for detection of no new exportations and the period for detection of no new cases or environmental isolates of wild poliovirus were agreed and applied [1].

As of 25th September 2015 the World Health Organization removed Nigeria from the list of endemic countries; the last case of WPV in Nigeria was reported 24 July, 2014 [2].  In addition, as of 1 October 2015, Somalia was removed from the list; the last case of WPV in Somalia was reported on 11 August, 2014 [3].

As of October 2, 2015 there remain only two countries endemic for polio, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Currently exporting wild poliovirus 

Afghanistan, Pakistan

Infected with wild poliovirus but not currently exporting   

There are currently no states in this category

No longer infected by wild poliovirus, but which remain vulnerable to international spread  

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria , Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic

Adapted from Global Polio Eradication Initiative
  The polio status of countries is reviewed by WHO on a regular basis and polio vaccination recommendations are subject to change. For polio vaccination recommendation for travellers to these countries see our Country Information pages.

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