The National Department of Health of Papua New Guinea reported this week on two additional polio cases (circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1–cVDPV1), bringing the total to six polio cases since the announcement of the outbreak in June 2018.

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

The new cases were reported in Madang and Eastern Highlands Provinces.

The case in Madang is a four-year old boy who had an onset of paralysis on 11 July 2018. His symptoms were fever, muscle weakness on right leg and left arm. The case in Eastern Highlands, on the other hand, is a two and half year old boy who had weakness on both of his legs that started on 23 June 2018.

Genetic analysis made by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that these two cases are linked to the ongoing polio outbreak in Papua New Guinea.

The six total cases have been reported in the following provinces:  two in Morobe, two in Eastern Highlands, one in Enga and one in Madang.

In response to the polio outbreak, the Government of Papua New Guinea declared a Public Health Emergency in June 2018. A polio vaccination campaign is currently ongoing to vaccinate children under 5 years old in high risk provinces. The first round of the campaign was conducted in July 2018 in three provinces of Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands.

The second round of the polio campaign is from 20 August to 2 September in Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands; while in Enga, Chimbu, Southern Highlands, Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Hela, the polio campaign will be from 27 August until 9 September.

Polio vaccination campaign in Papua New Guinea update

A nationwide polio vaccination campaign is planned for September and October targeting 1 265 000 children under 5 years old.