Progress Toward Polio Eradication — Worldwide, 2013–2014

Edna K. Moturi, MBChB; Kimberly A. Porter, PhD; Steven G.F. Wassilak, MD; Rudolf H. Tangermann, MD; Ousmane M. Diop, PhD; Cara C. Burns, PhD; Hamid Jafari, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2014;63(21):468-472. 

In This Article


In 1988, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) resolved to interrupt wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission worldwide, and in 2012, the World Health Assembly declared the completion of global polio eradication a programmatic emergency for public health.[1] By 2013, the annual number of WPV cases had decreased by >99% since 1988, and only three countries remained that had never interrupted WPV transmission: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. This report summarizes global progress toward polio eradication during 2013–2014 and updates previous reports.[2] In 2013, a total of 416 WPV cases were reported globally from eight countries, an 86% increase from the 223 WPV cases reported from five countries in 2012.[3] This upsurge in 2013 was caused by a 60% increase in WPV cases detected in Pakistan, and by outbreaks in five previously polio-free countries resulting from international spread of WPV. In 2014, as of May 20, a total of 82 WPV cases had been reported worldwide, compared with 34 cases during the same period in 2013. Polio cases caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) were detected in eight countries in 2013 and in two countries so far in 2014.[4] To achieve polio eradication in the near future, further efforts are needed to 1) address health worker safety concerns in areas of armed conflict in priority countries, 2) to prevent further spread of WPV and new outbreaks after importation into polio-free countries, and 3) to strengthen surveillance globally. Based on the international spread of WPV to date in 2014, the WHO Director General has issued temporary recommendations to reduce further international exportation of WPV through vaccination of persons traveling from currently polio-affected countries.[5]