Polio outbreaks a public health emergency: WHO

Last Updated: May 06, 2014, 14:57 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

London: Polio as a disease has been eradicated from India but some parts of the world are still at a risk. The World Health Organization has warned that the spread of polio has become an international public health emergency.

The outbreaks in Asia, Africa and Middle East are termed by WHO as "extraordinary event" which needs a coordinated "international response" and recommends citizens of affected countries travelling abroad carry a vaccination certificate.

68 cases of polio by 30 April have already been recorded and countries like Pakistan, Cameroon, and Syria "pose the greatest risk of further wild poliovirus exportations in 2014", according to WHO reports.

Bruce Aylward , WHO Assistant Director General, said that if the situation remains unchecked, then it could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the world's most serious vaccine preventable diseases.

According to WHO, Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria have been listed as the countries that are "posing an ongoing risk for new wild poliovirus exportations in 2014."

With Agency Inputs