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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


LIMIA SANCHEZ, Aurora. The eradication of the poliomyelitis in the European Region of the World Health Organization. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2013, vol.87, n.5, pp.507-516. ISSN 2173-9110.

Poliomyelitis was considered an important event for the public health since the end of XIX century when this disease became epidemic. As soon as vaccines were available member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the European Region started to implement vaccination programmes against polio with an important impact in the incidence in this disease. In May 1988, the World Health Assembly resolution for the global eradication of poliomyelitis was adopted and the mechanisms to oversee the progress in the different WHO Regions were established. This article briefly reviews the history of polio in the WHO European Region, the process for certification and maintenance, the strategies for eradication and the current situation in the European Region and globally. The European Region was certified polio-free in 2002. Nevertheless, there are still three endemic countries in the world, some others use live attenuated vaccines as well as countries in the Horn of Africa are recently suffering the reintroduction of wild poliovirus. Considering these circumstances, the risk of reintroduction of poliovirus and the generation of outbreaks in the European Region exists, therefore high vaccination coverage against polio and good quality surveillance systems are needed to be guaranteed in every member state.

Palabras clave : Poliovirus; Poliomyelitis; Polio vaccine, oral; Poliovirus vaccine, inactivated; Polio eradication; European Region of the World Health Organization.

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