Outbreak News Today

The battle against Vaccine derived poliovirus in Syria

In the most recent update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), they reported seven new circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases–four from Mayadeen and three from Boukamal districts, Deir Ez-Zor governorate.

Image/ErikaWittlieb via pixabay

This brings the total cases to 70 this year in Syria–Mayadeen (55), Boukamal (11) and one each in Deir Ez-Zor, Tell Abyad, Thawra Tadmour–and with the most recent confirmed case by date of paralysis onset being 9 September 2017.

Two weeks ago during the fifteenth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus, the Committee noted their concern over the size of the outbreak in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the difficulty of reaching target populations because of the conflict. As type 2 population immunity rapidly wanes, the risk of spread within the Syrian Arab Republic and beyond its borders will increase substantially, meaning urgent action is needed to stop transmission.

So what actions have been taken?