Vaccine-derived poliovirus found in Burundi and Congo
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Health officials in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have identified cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus, according to the World Health Organization and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Reuters reported.
The WHO said the government of Burundi has declared the discovery of the virus a public health emergency after cases were confirmed in an unvaccinated four-year-old boy in the Isale region of western Burundi and two other children who had been in contact with him.
< br /> Five other samples from environmental wastewater surveillance have confirmed the presence of circulating type 2 poliovirus in Burundi, the WHO said in a statement.
Circulating poliovirus type 2 (vaccine-derived) differs from wild poliovirus in that infections occur when the attenuated strain of poliovirus contained in the oral polio vaccine circulates in an underimmunized population for a long time.
Detections have important because they are the first to be associated with the use of the new oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2), which was developed specifically to reduce this risk.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said in a statement that circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 has been detected in six children in two eastern provinces of the Congo.
Burundi plans to conduct a polio vaccination campaign in the coming weeks for all eligible children under 7 years of age with the help of WHO and GPEI, WHO said.
The GPEI statement says that since March 2021, 28 countries have 600 million doses of the new vaccine have been received and the vaccine is confirmed to be safe and effective. According to the GPEI, the vaccination campaign is scheduled for April.
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