A National Survey
to Eradicate Poliovirus from Laboratories
Global Polio Eradication initiative, spearheaded by the World Health
Organization, Rotary International, UNICEF and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) is a worldwide effort to eradicate
polio. Preventing the inadvertent transmission of polioviruses from
the laboratory to a growing non-immune community is a crucial element
of this initiative.
June 2001, the Secretary for Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson
declared that the "United States is fully committed to... the
containment of any laboratory material that may harbor specimens
of wild poliovirus." All biomedical laboratories that store
specimens must be involved in the laboratory containment process
because many may be unaware that they have materials in which wild
polioviruses might be present.
support of this effort, the CDC set up a national program to survey
all biomedical laboratories that might contain or possess poliovirus.
The survey, which begins this month, will alert laboratories to
the impending eradication of polio, encourage the proper disposal
of all unneeded wild poliovirus infectious and potential infectious
materials, and establish a national inventory of laboratories retaining
University of Pennsylvania is committed to participating in this
national survey. The Office of Environmental Health and Radiation
Safety (EHRS) will provide inventory survey forms to relevant faculty.
members are required to inventory their materials, dispose of
unneeded virus or other potentially infectious materials, complete
the form and return it to EHRS no later than December 6, 2002.
- EHRS will file a summary inventory
report for all Penn faculty with the CDC to meet the National
Inventory of Wild Poliovirus Materials reporting deadline of December
may send inventory packages to multiple contacts on its mailing
database, which is compiled from membership lists of many professional
organizations. Consequently, Penn may receive more than one inventory
package. Faculty should forward their packages to EHRS, 3160 Chestnut
Street, Suite 400/6287.
on the national inventory will be kept informed of polio eradication
progress and notified of future biosafety requirements.
you have any questions about the National Inventory of Wild Poliovirus
Materials, contact EHRS at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (215) 898-4453.
about the National Inventory can also be found at: www.cdc.gov/od/nvpo/polio/.
Penn's survey form will be available at the EHRS website, www.ehrs.upenn.edu/resources/docs/biosafety/polio_survey.pdf.
Office of the Vice Provost for Research and
Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 7, October 8, 2002