Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks and Events — Three Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2017
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Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks and Events — Three Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2017

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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    The last confirmed wild poliovirus (WPV) case in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had paralysis onset in December 2011 (1). DRC has had cases of vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) documented since 2004 (Table 1) (1-6). After an outbreak of 30 circulating VDPV type 2 (cVDPV2) cases during 2011-2012, only five VDPV2 cases were reported during 2013-2016 (Table 1) (1-6). VDPVs can emerge from oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV types 1, 2, or 3; Sabin) polioviruses that have genetically mutated resulting in reversion to neurovirulence. This process occurs during extensive person-to-person transmission in populations with low immunity or after extended replication in the intestines of immune-deficient persons following vaccination (1-6). During 2017 (as of March 8, 2018), 25 VDPV cases were reported in three provinces in DRC: in Tanganyika province, an emergence with one VDPV2 case (pending final classification) in Kabalo health zone and an emergence with one ambiguous VDPV type 1 (aVDPV1) case in Ankoro health zone; in Maniema province, an emergence with two cVDPV2 cases; and in Haut Lomami province, an emergence with 20 cVDPV2 cases that originated in Haut Lomami province and later spread to Tanganyika province (hereafter referred to as the Haut Lomami outbreak area) and an emergence with one aVDPV type 2 (aVDPV2) case in Lwamba health zone (Table 1) (Figure) (6). Outbreak response supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) were conducted during June-December 2017 (Table 2) (6). Because of limitations in surveillance and suboptimal SIA quality and geographic scope, cVDPV2 circulation is likely continuing in 2018, requiring additional SIAs. DRC health officials and Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners are increasing human and financial resources to improve all aspects of outbreak response.
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