In all of 2016, the three polio endemic countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria saw a combined 37 wild poliovirus (WPV) cases, plus five   circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) cases including three in non-endemic Laos, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Syria Image/CIA

Through May 10 this year, only five WPV cases have been reported (Afghanistan-3 and Pakistan-2) with the last onset of paralysis being in February.

Pakistan did report two new WPV1 positive environmental samples in the past week, from Sindh (Khi Gadap and Khi Landhi, in greater Karachi).

Nigeria hasn’t reported a WPV case since August 2016 in Monguno Local Government Area (LGA), Borno.

In some troubling news, on May 5, an Al Jazeera report (computer translated)  was published that stated there was suspected polio in the rural area of Deir al Zour in eastern Syria.

A ProMed Mail source noted Friday that there is a cluster of 23 AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) cases in Miadin district, with one of the specimens having a possible vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV). Samples were sent to Atlanta for further testing.

Syria reported dozens of WPV cases in 2013-2014.