The Papua New Guinea National Department of Health (NDOH) reported an additional circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) case this one from the capital city of Port Moresby.

Poliovirus Image/CDC
Poliovirus Image/CDC

This brings the total polio cases reported in the country to 10 since the outbreak began in June.

“This is very concerning—every new case of polio isn’t just a statistic. Each represents a child that will be permanently paralyzed,” said Pasco Kase, Secretary of the National Department of Health. “In response to this recent case in Port Moresby, the NDOH and partners will start an emergency polio vaccination campaign on 24 September in the National Capital District. A nationwide polio campaign will commence on 1 October.”

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WHO Representative in Papua New Guinea, Dr Luo Dapeng said, “the confirmation of polio in an urban area is very worrisome, and WHO and partners are working together to support the Government to continue to actively search for all possible polio cases, rapidly scale up the response in Port Moresby with the emergency vaccination and embark on a nationwide vaccination in the succeeding rounds of the campaign.”

As of 6 September, Papua New Guinea has confirmed a total of 10 polio cases: three in Morobe, two in Eastern Highlands, two in Enga, two in Madang and one in the National Capital District.