Update: Polio this week – As of 3 July 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
[Editor’s extract and bolded text]
:: In Pakistan, a WPV1 outbreak centred in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is continuing. The epicentre of the outbreak is in areas where immunizations are limited due to access challenges. See ‘Pakistan’ section for more.
:: One new WPV case was reported in the past week (WPV1 from North Waziristan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas – FATA), bringing the total number of WPV cases for 2013 to 18. The most recent WPV case in the country had onset of paralysis on 6 June (WPV1 from Bara in Khyber Agency, FATA).
:: In addition to this latest WPV1 case, North Waziristan is also affected by an ongoing cVDPV2 outbreak. It is an area where immunization campaigns have been suspended by local leaders since last June. To minimize the risk of a major WPV1 and/or cVDPV2 outbreak in this area, it is critical that access to children is granted as quickly as possible. Immunization campaigns in neighbouring high-risk areas are being intensified, to further boost population immunity levels in those areas and minimize the risk of further spread.
:: FATA is the major WPV1 reservoir in Pakistan at the moment. Of 18 WPV1 cases reported in the country in 2013, more than half are from FATA. Khyber Agency is particularly affected, with seven cases confirmed since end-April. This outbreak is threatening progress achieved elsewhere in the country and in neighbouring Afghanistan.
:: In 2011 and 2012, Bara was the epicentre of a major outbreak which also spread to other areas.
Central Africa: Chad and Cameroon
:: In Chad, no new WPV cases were reported in the past week. The most recent WPV case had onset of paralysis on 14 June 2012 (WPV1 from Lac).
:: However, one new cVDPV2 case was reported in the country, with onset of paralysis on 12 May (from Ennedi in northern Chad), bringing the total number of cVDPV2 cases for 2013 to three. The virus is linked to the ongoing cVDPV2 outbreak affecting Chad.
Horn of Africa
:: 17 new WPV cases were reported in the past week (16 WPV1s from Somalia and one WPV1 from Kenya), bringing the total number of WPV1 cases in the region to 48 (41 WPV1s from Somalia and seven WPV1s from Kenya). The most recent cases in the region had onset of paralysis on 3 June (WPV1s from Somalia and Kenya).
:: The bulk of the newly-reported cases are from Somalia’s Banadir province, which remains the epicentre of the outbreak. However, two of the new cases are from Lower Shabelle region, in south-central Somalia, where access for supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) has been compromised for the past three years. As many as 500,000 children in this area are at particular risk of polio at the moment. Efforts are ongoing to operate in this area, and vaccinations are continuing at entry and exit points to build up immunity levels.
:: Outbreak response continues across the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia and Yemen.
WHO Europe: Mission sent to Israel following detection of wild poliovirus in sewage
1 July 2013
As requested by Israeli health authorities, a team of international poliomyelitis (polio) experts, coordinated by WHO, completed a five-day mission to Israel on 26 June 2013. The team assessed the risks and recommended action following the detection of wild poliovirus type 1 (wPV1) in sewage in the Southern District of the country. No cases of paralytic polio have been detected.
Following the mission, a supplementary immunization campaign with oral polio vaccine is planned, even though Israel continues to maintain high vaccination coverage and polio immunity in the population. The decision to launch the campaign reflects both the estimated extent of circulation of the virus and the Israeli authorities’ commitment to interrupt transmission as rapidly as possible.
The virus was originally isolated from sewage samples collected in Beersheva in February 2013. Since then it has been isolated in further samples from different locations, most recently in early June. Genetic sequencing and epidemiological investigations have established that it is of the South Asian genotype and not related to the virus currently affecting the Horn of Africa. WHO experts are working with scientists from Israel’s national polio laboratory to gain further understanding of the origins of the virus…
…Israel has been free of indigenous wPV transmission for 25 years, the last cases of paralytic polio having occurred in 1988. At that time the authorities launched a mass vaccination campaign immunizing the population aged 0–40 years with oral polio vaccine.
Female polio aid worker killed in northwest Pakistan
Thu, 04 Jul 2013 03:00:29 GMT
Peshawar, Jul 3 (PTI) A woman polio worker was today shot dead by suspected militants in northwest Pakistan during an anti-immunisation drive, the latest in a series of attacks targeting the government’s vaccination campaign.
Other members of the team managed to escape unhurt in the incident that took place in Swabi District of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province, which last month witnessed two polio workers being killed by militants, police said…