International News

Poliovirus outbreak in Sudan & Madagascar

polioin sudan

Sudan: Cases of cVDPVs, or the Circulating Vaccine Derived Polioviruses have been confirmed in South Sudan and Madagascar earlier this week, according to World Health Organization reports.

2 cases of cVDPV Type-2 were confirmed after the strains were isolated from two cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in the Unity state of South Sudan. According to a recent survey, 33% of all children living in the Unity state have not been immunized against Polio. Both cases were confirmed from a state camp of internally displaced people which was established due to civil unrest in the area. South Sudan has been an active participant of the regional Horn of Africa outbreak response and has previously organized Polio immunization campaigns. More campaigns are planned in December and January to ensure immunization of all children against the virus, and to eliminate Polio from the area.

In Madagascar on the other hand, cVDPV Type 1 was isolated from one case of Acute Flaccid Paralysis along with three healthy contacts. The last time any supplementary immunization campaigns were organized in Madagascar was in December-January’12. After the confirmation of cVDPV cases in the area, two national immunization days have been planned in December and January. According to national statistics, 25% of all children living in Madagascar have not received immunization against Polio virus.

According to the WHO, the risk of cVDPV Type 2 spread to other countries across the world is relatively low because the strains were isolated from an internally-displaced persons camp which can easily be accessed for immunization activities. The risk of international Polio spread from Madagascar too is low. However, the World Health Organization has alerted health authorities of countries that receive travelers from different parts of the world frequently, to remain vigilant and facilitate rapid responses in case of virus importation. The Organization has also encourages authorities to strengthen AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) surveillance as part of screening and prevention protocol.

November 18, 2014

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