In an update on the number of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2017, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) reports three new cases this week from 2017.
The new cases are reported from Tanganyika province, two cases in Ankoro district, with onset of paralysis on 30 November 2017, and 3 December 2017, and one case in Manono district, with onset on 1 December 2017.
The total number of officially reported cVDPV2 cases in the DRC in 2017 is now 21. There are no cases reported in 2018.
During a recent meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus, the following statement was released about the situation in DRC:
In DR Congo, there has been further transmission particularly in Tanganyika province, necessitating further rounds with mOPV2. Risks are compounded by poor surveillance in many areas, and widespread gaps in population immunity. The Committee was particularly concerned that the response had not been put on a sufficient emergency footing, and there was a lack of urgency in some aspects of the response, including apparent lack of attention to minimizing the risk of international spread. It was noted that upcoming elections with the possibility of civil unrest posed an additional risk to the ability of the country to halt the outbreak.
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