Via the Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Polio this week. Excerpt:
As the year 2013 draws to a close, the GPEI takes stock:
• In Afghanistan, no indigenous cases of wild poliovirus have occurred all year - all cases are linked to cross-border transmission with neighbouring Pakistan.
• In Nigeria, poliovirus is increasingly geographically restricted - primarily to Kanod and Borno states. Over the past 4 months, only four cases have occurred in the country, despite the onset of the rainy season (the "high season" for polio transmission).
• The Horn of Africa outbreak is on the decline, including in Banadir, Somalia, the "engine" of the outbreak (no cases since July).
• A cross-regional emergency approach is being implemented in the Middle East.
• In Pakistan, the main reservoir area is Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), in particular North Waziristan. During the ‘high season’ in the past four months, 52 cases of wild poliovirus have been reported from FATA, with evidence of widespread geographic transmission across the country. Areas within Pakistan are being re-infected, as is neighbouring Afghanistan, and the outbreak in the Middle East originated in Pakistan.
• The overriding operational priority for the GPEI is to ensure all children are reached during supplementary immunization activities during the 2014 ‘low season’ for polio transmission.