Room for Improvement in Polio Surveillance Observed

Underperforming subnational areas identified in countries with outbreaks

FRIDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Surveillance and reporting standards for polio are below par in many world regions and vary at subnational levels, according to a report published in the April 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers from the CDC in Atlanta report on the worldwide quality of polio surveillance as well as the timeliness of poliovirus isolation reporting and characterization during 2009 and 2010.

The researchers found that performance standards for surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) were met by 77 percent of countries with wild poliovirus; half of the 30 polio-affected countries contained underperforming subnational areas. Targets for timely Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) reporting were met in five and four of six World Health Organization (WHO) regions in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and timely poliovirus characterization targets were met in four and five WHO regions in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

"To achieve polio eradication, efforts are needed to further strengthen AFP surveillance, implement targeted environmental surveillance, and ensure that GPLN quality is maintained," the authors write.

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