WHO Epidemiological Brief 18: Measles outbreaks, Member State responses, measles exportation to the Americas Region, AFP surveillance and the polio outbreak in China



Measles outbreaks

During the period 1 January to 30 July 2011, 40 of 53 Member States in the WHO European Region reported 26 025 confirmed measles cases. This represents nearly a three-fold increase in cases compared to the same period in 2007. In response to the measles outbreaks, Member States are strengthening their surveillance activities according to national and regional guidelines, and some have revised their immunization programmes.

Outbreak of wild poliovirus 1 in China

As of 19 October there are 18 confirmed polio cases. Half of the cases are in very young children (under 3 years of age) and half in young adults (19-31 years old). China has undertaken remarkable and swift efforts to date to control the outbreak.

Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance in the European Region

At the 25th meeting of the RCC (the European Regional Certification Commission on the Eradication of Poliomyelitis), it was recommended that countries considered at high risk of transmission of wild poliovirus should comply with the same AFP surveillance criteria as countries with importations until they are no longer assessed to be at high risk. In order to facilitate rapid detection of polio cases, countries should continue their efforts to ensure routine and rapid transportation of specimens from the field to their designated national laboratory and the regional reference laboratories.