Venezuela’s political and economic crisis has fostered conditions favorable to communicable disease outbreaks, including measles, malaria, and HIV. We call attention to the spread of these diseases in Venezuela, and we examine the evidence of regional transmission.
For the first time since 2006, Indonesia has reported that two individuals have been infected with polio. This outbreak demonstrates the importance of vaccination and maintaining sensitive surveillance.
Last week, the WHO IHR Emergency Committee decided that the spread of polio should remain a “PHEIC.” We provide an update on the progress made by the global effort to eradicate polio in 2018.
After outbreaks in 2014 and 2016, cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) are on the rise again. Health officials have been unable to definitively identify a causative pathogen, which complicates response and public communication efforts.
UPDATED 6/22/2018: PAHO announced that genetic sequencing detected neither wild nor vaccine-derived poliovirus in samples from the acute flaccid paralysis patient in Venezuela.
The WHO recently reported polio outbreaks in Syria and DRC, representing yet another setback to global polio eradication efforts. Both of these countries face additional challenges in the form of ongoing violent conflict, political and social instability, and other recent infectious disease outbreaks, further complicating their response efforts. Further investment is needed to bolster health sector capacity and build resilience to these types of events.