Two African nations reported more polio cases this week, all involving vaccine-derived strains, according to the latest weekly update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo reported 17 more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) cases, mostly from Haut Lomami province, bringing its total for 2022 to 68. The country also reported 15 more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases in five provinces, including Haut Lomami, boosting the country's number for 2022 to 236.
Elsewhere, Niger reported 1 more cVDPV2 case, which involves a patient from Tahoua, lifting its 2022 total to 14.
Details on Sudan cases
In related developments, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided more details about Sudan's first cVDPV2 case of 2022, which was first reported in late December.
The patient is a 4-year-old boy from West Darfur whose acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) began on Oct 31. A genetic analysis of the virus isolate suggests that it is closely related to a strain circulating in Nigeria's Borno state and is not related to the cVDPV2 strain involved in Sudan's 2020 outbreak, which was just declared over in August 2022.
The WHO said the re-emergence of the virus in Sudan points to gaps in routine immunization. It added that the country's health ministry in late November launched a polio vaccination campaign for children younger than 13 years in affected areas. Two more campaigns are planned, with a goal of reaching children younger than 5 years old.