What happens next?
In the event of polio being detected in the environment through this process, the information is used to plan vaccination campaigns, so that children are protected before anyone can be paralysed. Environmental surveillance will continue to be important for many years into the future. After eradication, environmental surveillance will be used to check no virus is released from laboratories or research facilities that could cause an outbreak. Environmental surveillance is made possible, under WHO coordination, by the generous funding of Canada, the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare, the US Centres for Disease Control, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, Switzerland and the UK’s Department for International Development. It is becoming increasingly important as we zero in on the final cases of poliovirus, making sure that one day soon, no child will ever be paralysed from poliovirus again.