By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In an update on the global polio situation, at the twenty-first meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus, the Committee unanimously agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and recommended the extension of Temporary Recommendations for a further three months.

Poliovirus Image/CDC

This decision was made based on the rising risk of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) international spread, the rising risk of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) spread, global population immunity to type 2 polioviruses (PV2) continues to fall,among others.

The Committee is gravely concerned by the significant further increase in WPV1 cases globally in 2019, particularly in Pakistan.

This past week, Pakistan reported two additional WPV1 cases from North Waziristan, KPTD and Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bringing the total number of WPV1 cases in 2019 to 19.

This puts the global total for WPV1 to 26, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

A circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) was reported this week from Togdher, Somalia, bringing the total in that country to two.

Positive environmental samples were reported from Pakistan–six WPV1-positive environmental samples; Afghanistan – one WPV1-positive environmental sample; Nigeria – two circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2)-positive environmental samples; Cameroon – one cVDPV2-positive environmental sample; and, Iran – one WPV1-positive environmental sample.

In addition, two cases of poliomyelitis type 2 were reported in the nomadic community in the Bambari health district, following a diagnosis of acute flaccid paralysis in one case with the second case also being a contact of the first, as reported in the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin.

Suspected poliomyelitis cases are being investigated by WHO, with samples obtained from contacts of confirmed cases, which were sent for sequencing to the reference laboratories in Dakar and South Africa.