For the first time since Feb. 2006, the archipelago of some 17,000 islands, Indonesia reported a polio case.

Image/CDC-/ Meredith Boyter Newlove, M.S., James Archer, M.S.
Image/CDC-/ Meredith Boyter Newlove, M.S., James Archer, M.S.

This week, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said a new circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) outbreak has been confirmed in Indonesia.

Two genetically-linked circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) isolates were detected, from an acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case, with onset of paralysis on 27 November 2018, and from a sample of a healthy community contact, in Papua province collected on 24 January 2019.

This outbreak is not linked to the cVDPV1 currently affecting neighboring Papua New Guinea.

According to the World Health Organization, the last case of polio found in Indonesia was on February 2006, which was part of an outbreak that totaled 305 cases.

GPEI says the detection of cVDPV1 underscores the importance of maintaining high routine vaccination coverage everywhere to minimize the risk and consequences of any poliovirus circulation as well as the need to ensure quality surveillance for early detection of any polioviruses. These events also underscore the risk posed by any low-level transmission of the virus. A robust outbreak response is needed to rapidly stop circulation and ensure sufficient vaccination coverage in the affected areas to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. WHO will continue to evaluate the epidemiological situation and outbreak response measures being implemented.