Circulation of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been confirmed in Ghana, related to a cVDPV2 affecting Jigawa, Nigeria.
Across the GPEI partnership, the outbreak preparedness and response task team (OPRTT) is working with our regional and country colleagues in supporting local public health authorities in carrying out a full field investigation and determining if there is a risk of local spread of this virus which might require a response.
Surveillance is also being strengthened in neighbouring Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
WHO risk assessment
WHO assesses the risk of international spread and/or emergence of cVDPV2 across West Africa, Central Africa and the Horn of Africa to be high.
It is important that all countries, in particular those with frequent travel and contacts with polio-affected countries and areas, strengthen surveillance for AFP cases in order to rapidly detect any new virus importation and to facilitate a rapid response. Countries, territories and areas should also maintain uniformly high routine immunization coverage at the district level to minimize the consequences of any new virus introduction.
WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel.
As per the advice of an Emergency Committee convened under the International Health Regulations (2005), efforts to limit the international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Countries affected by poliovirus transmission is subject to Temporary Recommendations. To comply with the Temporary Recommendations issued under the PHEIC, any country infected by poliovirus should declare the outbreak as a national public health emergency and consider vaccination of all international travellers.