On 6 June 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published updates to its ‘Essential Medicines List’ (EML). Read more here.

Eurosurveillance is on the updated list of the Directory of Open Access Journals and in the SHERPA/RoMEO database. Read more here.

Follow Eurosurveillance on Twitter: @Eurosurveillanc

In this issue

Home Eurosurveillance Edition  2012: Volume 17/ Issue 17 Article 8
Back to Table of Contents
Previous Download (pdf)

Eurosurveillance, Volume 17, Issue 17, 26 April 2012
Ten years polio-free: anniversary in the World Health Organization European Region
  1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden

Citation style for this article: Eurosurveillance editorial team. Ten years polio-free: anniversary in the World Health Organization European Region . Euro Surveill. 2012;17(17):pii=20157. Available online:

In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region was declared polio-free [1]. This week, 21-27 April 2012, the seventh European Immunization Week highlights the ten-year anniversary of the polio-free status [2]. In spite of a large outbreak of imported wild poliovirus in Tajikistan in 2010, the Region has retained its polio-free status, as confirmed by the European Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication in August 2011 [3].
It was on 23 April 2010 that the WHO announced the confirmation of wild poliovirus serotype 1 (WPV1) in seven samples obtained from children with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in Tajikistan. Genetic sequencing determined that the poliovirus was most closely related to virus from Uttar Pradesh, India. In total 136 (80%) of the AFP cases were in children aged under five years (age range 0-17 years). Cases were mainly reported from districts bordering Afghanistan and Uzbekistan [4].

While remaining polio-free is an achievement to celebrate and a good example of how immunisation can control the spread of disease, the 2010 outbreak was a poignant reminder of the need to stay vigilant. Due to ongoing threats in countries bordering or nearby the European region such as China and Pakistan, polio continues to be a threat [5].


  1. Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication: European Region declared ‘polio-free’. Fifteenth meeting of the European Regional Certification Commission. Copenhagen, 19-21 June 2002, p 103. Available from: 
  2. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Core Communications Package. European Immunization Week 21-27 April 2012. Available from:
  3. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Polio kicked out of Europe: European Region to retain polio-free status, but constant vigilance is needed. Press release. Copenhagen 25 August 2011. WHO. Available from:,-but-constant-vigilance-is-needed
  4. World Health Organization Country Office Tajikistan, WHO Regional Office for Europe, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Outbreak of poliomyelitis in Tajikistan in 2010: risk for importation and impact on polio surveillance in Europe? Euro Surveill. 2010;15(17):pii=19558. Available from:
  5. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Annual Epidemiological Report on Communicable Diseases in Europe 2010. Stockholm: ECDC; 2010. Available from:

Back to Table of Contents
Previous Download (pdf)

The publisher’s policy on data collection and use of cookies.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by authors contributing to Eurosurveillance do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) or the editorial team or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated. Neither ECDC nor any person acting on behalf of ECDC is responsible for the use that might be made of the information in this journal. The information provided on the Eurosurveillance site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Our website does not host any form of commercial advertisement. Except where otherwise stated, all manuscripts published after 1 January 2016 will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. You are free to share and adapt the material, but you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Eurosurveillance [ISSN] - ©2007-2016. All rights reserved

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.