The Need for Containment

Laboratories and other facilities that handle or store poliovirus materials pose a risk for the virus being reintroduced into communities. Poliovirus containment is critical to minimize the risk of the virus getting into the environment and causing harm. There is a vaccine that protects against polio disease, and vaccination can protect workers and communities. However, the vaccination does not prevent asymptomatic infection and further spreading of polioviruses.

  • A vaccinated worker could still become infected, or re-infected, while working with poliovirus and shed live virus for weeks, leading to possible infection of others.
  • A person who has an asymptomatic poliovirus infection could travel to a place where vaccine coverage is low. Shedding of virus in that setting could potentially result in re-introduction to a susceptible population, further transmission and cause polio disease.
  • Shortages of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) coupled with changes in the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) has created cohorts of children susceptible to poliovirus type 2.
  • Global routine vaccination programs are resource constrained and vulnerable to failing to meet polio vaccine coverage goals, resulting in susceptible populations around the world.
Page last reviewed: July 15, 2019, 09:25 AM