In an update on polio news from the most recent week, we look at updates from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Australia.


According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the total number of confirmed  type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, or cVDPV2 cases has risen to 74 this year with the addition of four new cases.

The four cases were reported from Mayadeen district (3) and Boukamal district (1) in Deir Ez-Zor governorate.

GPEI partners continue to support the Syrian Ministry of Health with planning for the second phase of the outbreak response.

A new environmental surveillance laboratory has been successfully established in Damascus this week. WHO has led the training of surveillance officers and staff from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Water Resources.


Poliovirus Image/CDC
Poliovirus Image/CDC

The number of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases remain at 11 as no new cases were reported. However,

Two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples were reported this week, both collected from Jalalabad district in Nangarhar province on 25 November.


One new case of WPV1 was reported in Karachi Gadap district, Sindh province, with onset of Nov. 9, bringing the total cases to six in 2017 (compared to 20 in all of 2016).


In a follow-up to an Australian media report on polio virus being detected in Melbourne’s sewerage system, the folks over at ProMED Mail reported the following on Friday:

We received a rapid reply to our query on the results of genetic testing of the poliovirus type 2 isolated in environmental samples taken from the Western Sewage Treatment Plant in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The poliovirus isolate was genetically characterized as most probably an immunodeficiency-related vaccine derived poliovirus (an iVDPV). The genetic characterization was suggestive of chronic carriage for several years with no relationship to prior or present cVDPV isolates.

A ProMED moderator offered the following comment on this case:

As Australia stopped using the OPV in 2005 (12 years ago), from the studies on this isolate it is highly likely that this came from an individual who was vaccinated in another country before coming (or returning) to Australia. I suspect the Public Health and Clinical community if they do not already know this individual are trying to identify where this individual is to monitor the continued excretion of the iVDPV2 in his/her stool.