Polio this week as of 5 June 2019
This week the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women is happening in Vancouver, Canada. Women are truly delivering a polio-free world. The GPEI proudly recognizes women’s valuable contributions in the fight against polio. For more information on women on the frontlines, please see http://polioeradication.org/gender-and-polio/women-on-the-frontlines-of-polio-eradication/
In Papua New Guinea, a GPEI Outbreak Response Assessment reviewed the impact of current outbreak response and concluded that overall strong response had been implemented. Commending national and subnational public health authorities and health workers on their efforts, the Assessment team underscored the need on now filling any residual subnational surveillance and immunity gaps. See ‘Papua New Guinea’ section below for more.
On 4 June, The Lancet published the results of the first in-human, Phase 1 clinical trial for nOPV2 – a key first step toward determining the potential for a novel type-2 oral polio vaccine that would provide the same level of protection against type-2 poliovirus as OPV without the same risk of reverting into cVDPV2 in under-immunized populations. These initial results are promising, and suggest the vaccine is safe and immunogenic in adults; further clinical trial results will be important to evaluate nOPV as a potential tool to sustain a world free from all types of polioviruses.
The GPEI Semi-Annual Status Report covering the reporting period July-December 2018 is available online, reporting against the major objectives of the Polio Endgame Plan 2013-2018. The GPEI will continue to publish its Semi-Annual Status Reports, to track progress against the newly-launched Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023.
Summary of new viruses this week: Afghanistan – one new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case; Pakistan – two new WPV1 cases and 16 WPV1-positive environmental samples; Niger – one cVDPV2 case; and, Nigeria – one cVDPV2-positive environmental sample. See country sections below for more details.