Surveillance Systems to Track Progress Toward Polio Eradication--Worldwide, 2014-2015.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Apr 08; 65(13):346-51.MM
Global efforts to eradicate polio began in 1988, and polio-free certification has been achieved in four of the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions. Nigeria was removed from WHO's list of countries with endemic polio in September 2015, achieving an important milestone toward interruption of wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission in the African Region (1). Afghanistan and Pakistan, both in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, were the only countries to report WPV cases in 2015. Previously reported outbreaks caused by WPV importation during 2013-2014 have ended (2,3). The primary means for detecting poliovirus transmission is surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) among children aged <15 years (4,5). Stool specimens collected from children with AFP are tested for both WPV and vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) in WHO-accredited laboratories within the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN). In selected locations, AFP surveillance is supplemented with environmental surveillance (testing sewage for poliovirus) (6). Testing of stool and sewage samples includes genomic sequencing to characterize poliovirus isolates; results are used to map poliovirus transmission and identify gaps in AFP surveillance. This report presents poliovirus surveillance data from 2014 and 2015, focusing on the 20 countries in the African Region and six in the Eastern Mediterranean Region that reported a WPV or circulating VDPV (cVDPV) case during 2011-2015, including Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which were most affected by the 2014-2015 Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak.