In a follow-up on the polio outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), UN health officials report the outbreak has been successfully stopped.

Image/ErikaWittlieb via pixabay
Image/ErikaWittlieb via pixabay

The first cases of the cVDPV2 outbreak were confirmed in June 2017, in Deir Ez-Zor governorate in eastern Syria. It resulted in 74 cases, the most recent of which had onset of paralysis more than 12 months ago, on 21 September 2017.

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An official outbreak response assessment, comprising experts in global public health, virology and epidemiology, reviewed all available surveillance and immunization evidence from the past 18 months, and conducted first-hand field visits to the affected areas, including the epicentre of the outbreak, Deir Ez-Zor. The group concluded that the outbreak could now be closed.

“Ending a polio outbreak is a complex task, involving disease detection, intensive outbreak response, liaising between different parties and stakeholders, prompt delivery of oral polio vaccine to large populations that are frequently on the move, and detailed and ongoing surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis,” said Anirban Chatterjee, Regional Chief of Health for UNICEF Middle East and North Africa. “The cessation of this outbreak is a win for public health and a major achievement for all partners who supported efforts to contain and control the outbreak.”