Democratic Republic of the Congo

Status: affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has not reported a case of wild poliovirus since 2011, however, the country is affected by circulating vaccine derived poliovirus. To stop transmission, it is essential for momentum to be maintained to reach every child with polio vaccines and to strengthen disease surveillance.

In response to continuing virus detection, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced the cVDPV2 outbreak ongoing in the country a Public Health Emergency of National Concern in February 2018. The Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, remains fully committed to outbreak response.

Polio this week in Central Africa

  • No new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported in the past week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • The total number of officially reported cVDPV2 cases in the DRC in 2018 remains four.
  • The most recent case (by date of onset) was reported in Kikula district, Haut Katanga province, with onset on 19 February.
  • The Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, remains fully committed to outbreak response in the affected provinces, including use of monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) across the country, in line with internationally-agreed outbreak response protocols.
  • Surveillance and immunization activities are being strengthened in neighbouring countries.
  • Read our Democratic Republic of the Congo country page to see information on surveillance and vaccination campaigns.
  • Learn more about vaccine-derived polioviruses through this short animation or this ‘Coffee with Polio Experts’ video.

International Health Regulations

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR) as a state infected with cVDPV2, with potential risk of international spread.  It is therefore subject to temporary recommendations as of April 2018.

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Key at-risk: no longer poliovirus-infected, but at high risk of outbreaks
Outbreak: has stopped indigenous WPV circulation but affected by outbreak of imported WPV or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus
Endemic: has never stopped indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) circulation

Travel advice

WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel.

More on vaccine-derived polioviruses