Date: 9 Dec 2015
Source: Takepart.com [edited]
Despite 60 years of vaccination and its near-eradication from the face of the planet, 2 polio cases popped up last week in Russia, a rare occurrence in an industrialized nation, according to news sources.
On Fri [11 Dec 2015], Central Asia Online reports, Russia confirmed a case in Moscow in an infant from Tajikistan -- the 2nd confirmation that week, both in infant girls, after 13 years without a trace of the disease in the country. The earlier case was found in a city called Irkutsk.
Though the diagnosis breaks Russia's long streak without a confirmed case of the disease, polio is nothing new for Tajikistan, which has had 12 to 15 polio deaths and 52 recorded cases since January  alone, Central Asia Online reports.
The Eurasia Review reports that the number of recorded Tajikistan cases is 278 since last December , and calls its appearance an "outbreak," saying the Russian government has taken measures to stem the spread of the disease, including restricting visits from Tajik migrant workers. Other sources say children in Irkutsk will receive additional vaccinations for protection.
Polio is a disease that spreads in areas of poor sanitation and attacks the central nervous system when a person is infected. All but eradicated in most of the world, the malady hangs on in several areas in Central Asia.
A Russian health minister was quoted on Fri [11 Dec 2015] saying the latest spread of the disease was contained, and there was no threat of it spreading through Russia.
The National Post, citing Reuters, also reported that new vaccinations will begin in Tajikistan under an initiative from UNICEF, but quoted a WHO spokeswoman who called the appearance of polio there a "huge outbreak."
On Mon [7 Dec 2015], the Global Polio Eradication Initiative also reported that the World Health Assembly has reexamined ways to stamp out the disease in other areas of the globe, releasing the "Strategic Plan 2010-2012" [sic; but see comment below] for the eradication of polio. [Byline: Ben Murray]
[While 1 case was a visiting child from Tajikistan, there is no information on the 1st case in Irkutsk, Russia.
This report refers to Strategic Plan 2010-2012 for the eradication of polio, but an Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 exists, as described here.
Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018
The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 (see below) is a comprehensive, long-term strategy that addresses what is needed to deliver a polio-free world by 2018.
The plan was developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in consultation with national health authorities, global health initiatives, scientific experts, donors and other stakeholders, in response to a directive of the World Health Assembly.
A mid-term review was conducted for the plan in mid-2015. Working in some of the most difficult environments in the world has presented major challenges to reaching children with vaccines. The review concluded that while the strategic plan remains a strong framework for ending polio, there is an urgent need to re-focus certain priorities and activities. This includes strengthening surveillance, improving the quality of immunization campaigns and building capacity to respond to outbreaks. Based on these recommendations, the review also evaluated the deadline for eradication, and any resulting financial implications.
The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 addresses the eradication of all polio disease, whether caused by wild poliovirus or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, while planning for the backbone of the polio effort to be used for delivering other health services to the world's most vulnerable children.
The Plan has 4 objectives. 1) Detect and interrupt all poliovirus transmission, 2) Strengthen immunization systems and withdraw oral polio vaccine. more... 3) Contain poliovirus and certify interruption of transmission, 4) Plan polio's legacy. more...
Polio this week as of 9 December 2015
2 cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus were confirmed in Myanmar this week. The Ministry of Health is implementing an urgent outbreak response with the support of the partners of GPEI. [Note the 2 cases in Russia are not mentioned. - ProMed Mod.LK]
In 2015, wild poliovirus transmission is at the lowest levels ever, with fewer cases reported from fewer areas of fewer countries than ever before. In 2015 so far, 66 wild poliovirus cases have been reported from 2 countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan), compared to 324 cases from nine countries during the same period in 2014.
A map of Tajikastan may be accessed at
[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: