Polio Eradication Initiative | Certification | Containment of the wild polio virus

Laboratory containment of wild polio virus and potential infectious material

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The world will be declared polio-free when all regions have documented the absence of wild poliovirus transmission for at least three consecutive years and laboratories holding wild poliovirus materials have adopted appropriate measures for containment. The probability of wild poliovirus transmission from the laboratory to the community is small but the potential consequences of such transmission become more serious as polio-free countries increase in number and immunization decreases or stops. It is crucial to achieve the safe handling, and ultimately, the appropriate laboratory containment, of wild poliovirus infectious materials, as well as potential wild poliovirus infectious materials.

The first edition of the global action plan for laboratory containment of wild polioviruses was issued by WHO in December 1999. It was based on broad input from biosafety experts, epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, ministries of health and vaccine manufacturers.

WHO Global Action Plan for poliovirus containment

More information is here.

Related links

Intercountry laboratory containment meetings

Indicators and information

Wild polio cases by country in the Region for 2019 - 2020


P1 Total



29 29


144 144

Total 2019

173 173



17 17

Total 2020 (up to 16 February 2020)

17 17

Polio Fax issues

Middle East Polio Technical Bulletin

Surveillance Indicators

Supplementary Immunization Activities

Routine immunization
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