UNICEF-WHO Philippines: Polio Outbreak Situation Report #1 (19 September 2019)

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Between 1 July and 27 August 2019, 4 environmental samples tested positive for Vaccine Derived Poliovirus Type 1 (VDPV1) from Tondo (Manila). No genetic linkage was found with any other known VDPV1, indicating new emergence.
  • Between 13 and 22 August 2019, 2 environmental samples tested positive for VDPV Type 2 (VDPV2) from Tondo and Davao. Both samples were found to be genetically linked.
  • All samples collected through environmental surveillance by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and laboratory confirmed by the Global Specialized Laboratory (GSL) for enteroviruses at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Japan
  • On 14 September 2019, VDPV2 was confirmed in one three-year-old child with Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) symptoms, from Lanao del Sur (Mindanao). The isolated VDPV2 was found to be genetically linked to the 2 confirmed VDPV2 environmental samples. As a result, VDPV2 was classified as circulating (cVDPV2)
  • On 19 September 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the re-emergence of polio in the Philippines and declared a national polio outbreak, in line with International Health Regulations (IHR)
  • Synchronized polio vaccination conducted in Manila in response to the 1st confirmed VDPV1 samples only reached 53.8% of the target number of children aged 0 to 59 months.
  • Estimated polio vaccination coverage for children aged < 1 year with the required 3 doses of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) in the Philippines for 2018 was 66% (compared to the recommended 95%), and for inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) coverage has been below 50% since its introduction in 2016, and is currently at 23% for 2019.