The EU/EEA countries and the rest of the WHO European Region, have been officially polio-free since 2002. However, wild-type polio virus 1 (WPV1) has been isolated in sewage and in the faeces of asymptomatic carriers in Israel since February 2013. In this risk assessment ECDC looks at the potential impact of this public health event on the risk of poliovirus being imported and re-established into circulation in EU/EEA.
The assessment evaluates three populations for the risk of infection with WPV (asymptomatic infection and shedding of virus) and the risk of clinical disease (paralytic poliomyelitis) in the EU: cohorts vaccinated with OPV; cohorts vaccinated exclusively with IPV-containing vaccines and population groups with low vaccination coverage, including people for whom the vaccine has failed or who have waning immunity.
Based on the evidence available, the overall threat posed by poliovirus re-establishment can be considered to be very low in OPV vaccinees for both poliovirus infection and disease; moderate in IPV-only cohorts for poliovirus infection and low for disease; and high in low or unvaccinated groups for poliovirus infection and moderate for disease.