Weekly country updates as of 4 July 2017
No new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2017 remains four. The most recent WPV1 case had onset of paralysis on 16 April from Nawzad district, Hilmand province.
With most of Afghanistan polio-free, efforts are focused on continuing to strengthen operations, in close coordination with Pakistan, to address remaining low-level transmission in the common reservoir area of the Quetta-Kandahar transmission corridor.
Afghanistan is carrying out a programme review focusing on the implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan and making necessary adjustments for the second half of 2017.
No new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2017 remains two. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 13 February, from Diamir district, Gilgit Baltistan.
Two new WPV1-positive environmental samples was reported in the past week, from Peshawar district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and from Rawalpindi district of Punjab, both with collection date 10 June.
The year 2016 saw the lowest ever annual number of polio cases in the country but poliovirus continues to be isolated through environmental surveillance over a significant geographical range.
Efforts are ongoing through implementation of the national emergency action plan to address remaining gaps in coverage and surveillance, in close coordination with neighbouring Afghanistan.
No new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) were reported in the past week. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 remains four and no cases have been reported in 2017. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 August 2016 in Monguno Local Government Area (LGA), Borno.
Nigeria continues to implement emergency response to the detected WPV1 strain and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) strains affecting the country.
The response is part of a broader regional outbreak response, coordinated with neighbouring countries, in particular the Lake Chad sub-region, including northern Cameroon, parts of Central African Republic, Chad and southern Niger.
Detection of the polio cases in Nigeria underscores the risk posed by low-level undetected transmission and the urgent need to strengthen subnational surveillance.
Lake Chad Basin
The detection of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in Nigeria poses a risk to the neighbouring countries of the Lake Chad basin and hence an outbreak response plan is being implemented as part of the response to the Nigeria outbreak.
Emergency outbreak response efforts continue across the Lake Chad basin, together with activities to fill subnational surveillance gaps across the region.
No new cases were reported in the past week. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is affected by two separate outbreaks of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), in Haut Lomami province (two cases, with onset of paralysis on 8 March and 20 February); and in Maniema province (two cases with onset of paralysis on 26 March and 18 April, with an additional isolate detected in a healthy individual with sample collection on 2 May).
Outbreak response plans are currently being finalised, with supplementary immunization activities using monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) in line with internationally-agreed outbreak response protocols.
The first mOPV2 campaign was implemented last week (27-29 June) targeting more than 750,000 children under the age of five years in the two affected provinces.
Surveillance and immunization activities are being strengthened in neighbouring countries.
DR Congo is also affected by an Ebola outbreak, in Bas Uele province in the north of the country. Coordination among both outbreak response teams will be necessary and teams are already working on this.
Syrian Arab Republic
In Syria, two new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported in the past week, bringing the total of cVDPV2 cases to 24. All cases had onset of paralysis between 3 March and 28 May. Twenty two of the cases are from Mayadeen district, Deir-Al-Zour governorate, and two cases are from Raqua and Talabyad districts, Raqua governorate. Additionally, six cVDPV2s were also isolated from contacts, all from Mayadeen district (collected in May and June).
Confirmation of these latest cases is not unexpected at this time and does not change the operational situation, as outbreak response plans are being finalized, in line with internationally-agreed outbreak response protocols. Although access to Deir-Al-Zour is compromised due to insecurity, the Governorate has been partially reached by several vaccination campaigns against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases since the beginning of 2016. Most recently, two campaigns have been conducted in March and April 2017 using the bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV). However, only limited coverage was possible through these campaigns. In response to the isolation of cVDPV2 from Raqua governorate, the Syrian Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF is considering adding the area to the outbreak response. This is under discussion due to ongoing military operations.