In a follow-up on a wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case reported in Mozambique’s north-eastern Tete province in May, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) reported this week an additional three cases from Tete province.
This brings the total number of cases in the country to four.
According to GPEI:
Two of the three new viruses are more closely linked with the WPV1 isolated from the first case of Mozambique with onset in March 2022 from the same province, indicating local circulation of WPV1 within the province and probably the country. However, the WPV1 found in Magoé district (close to the Zimbabwe and Zambia borders), is an orphan virus which is more closely related to the virus found earlier in Malawi.
Genetic analysis further indicates that there are clearly at least two transmission chains that are co-evolved after introduction of the virus in Tete province in Mozambique. While it is difficult to speculate, distribution of WPV1 and their genetic linkage suggests that missed transmission in bordering areas around Mozambique-Zimbabwe-Zambia cannot be ruled out.
Mozambique has implemented three immunization rounds using bOPV since the detection of the first case from March. Assessments of these rounds show gradual improvements in quality, round to round, though quality remains suboptimal in Tete province.
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