Fires in the Neighborhood

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Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(2):67-67
Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, Osong, Korea
College of Health Industry, Eulji University, Seongnam, Korea
College of Medicine, Eulji University, Daejeon, Korea
Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, Osong, Korea
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

The first case of poliomyelitis was reported in Korea in 1939. The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and the oral polio vaccine (OPV) were introduced in 1958 and 1962, respectively. The National Immunization Program (NIP) was established in 1966 and poliomyelitis was designated as a second-class communicable disease [1]. The number of reported cases decreased dramatically from 6541 in 1960–1964 to 0 in 1984–2010 [1]. Since the five reported cases in 1983, no case of wild poliovirus infection has been reported in Korea [1].

In 2010, in response to the possibility of importation of poliovirus due to outbreaks in Europe, Korea prepared an action plan for if a poliovirus outbreak occurs in Korea [1,2]. In 2011, there was an outbreak in the province of China which borders Pakistan [3]. More concerns about the possibility of imported poliomyelitis in Korea have led policy makers to reconsider the 2010 National Action Plan (NAP). As a result, more concrete and systematic contents are necessary to upgrade the previous NAP.

In this issue, Park et al have summarized the background and differences of the revision of the NAP for poliovirus importation. The polio outbreak in China in 2011 has necessitated revision of the 2010polio NAP in Korea. The revised plan was provided after evaluation of the 2010 NAP, literature reviews, and expert advice. It was discussed and confirmed by the Korea Polio National Certificate Committee (NCC).

The revised NAP (2012 NAP) has structured the action to take by case stage, and the role of each agency. It also provides the specified classification and management actions on the contacts. It includes a new recommendation of one-time additional immunization for the contacts regardless of the previous vaccination history. The 2012 NAP could contribute to provide an effective countermeasure in the event of an imported poliomyelitis case in Korea [4].


1. Song KM, Choe YJ, Cho H, Bae G-R, Lee J-K. National action plan for poliovirus importation. Osong Public Health Res Perspect 2011;6. 2(1):65–71.
2. World Health Organization Country Office Tajikistan, WHO Regional Office for Europe, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Outbreak of poliomyelitis in Tajikistan in 2010: risk for importation and impact on polio surveillance in Europe? Euro Surveill 2010;15(17):pii = 19558. Available from:
3. Global Alert and Response (GAR). Wild poliovirus confirmed in China World Health Organization. Available from: 2011.
4. Park Y-J, Kim J-W, Kwon YH, Bae G-R, Lee D-H. Revision of the national action plan in response to the poliovirus importation. Osong Public Health Res Perspect 2013;4. 4(2):117–21.

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