The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the European Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication (RCC) has declared Europe remains a polio-free zone, a year after importation of wild poliovirus type 1 in 2010. The transmission of that virus has been stopped due to action undertaken by the affected countries, through additional immunization activities, often involving nationwide vaccination campaigns. No new cases have been recorded since September 2010.
Europe was declared polio-free in 2002 and the imported cases represented the largest outbreak since then. At the RCC meeting, all 53 countries in the WHO European Region, including those affected by the 2010 importation, provided evidence to help the RCC make an independent expert assessment of the sustainability of the polio-free status of the Region. It concluded that the evidence presented was sufficient so that there was no need to recertify all 53 Member States of the WHO European Region or any sub-region.
The importation of wild poliovirus in Europe highlights the importance of the global eradication effort. The TED talk below gives a good overview of the where, how and why of the polio fight.
This is important stuff, and we are this close to getting it done. Defeat is not an option.