WHO Epidemiological Brief 22:Measles and rubella, first meeting of RVC, AFP surveillance reporting, polio outbreak preparedness



Measles and rubella
As countries of the European Region have updated or submitted delayed measles reports, the number of reported cases in 2011 has grown to more than 35 000. Furthermore, new reports indicate a resurgence of measles cases in the Region, with increases of particular concern taking place in both the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
The first meeting of the European Regional Measles Verification Commission (RVC) was held on 24‐25 January 2012, in Copenhagen, Denmark with main objectives to introduce the Framework for the process of the verification of measles and rubella elimination in the WHO European Region and set up the working procedures of the Commission.
Rubella reports are somewhat more encouraging, with 31 countries reporting zero rubella cases in January 2012. The majority of reported cases were the result of a large rubella outbreak in Romania.

AFP surveillance reporting
Timeliness and completeness reporting trends for AFP surveillance in 2010 and 2011 indicate some improvement in these areas over the two years. However, timeliness and completeness remain suboptimal, particularly for those countries considered at high‐risk for importation of poliovirus.

Polio outbreak preparedness
An innovative polio outbreak simulation exercise (POSE) was commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe and conducted by the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) as a table top exercise over a two‐day period on 14 and 15 December 2011. The main purpose of Exercise POSE was to stimulate participants to critically review and update their national plans on responding to the detection of wild polioviruses (WPV) and vaccine derived polioviruses (VDPV).