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.

Polio this week in Central Africa

  • No new cases were reported in the past week.  The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is affected by two separate outbreaks of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), in Haut Lomami province (two cases, with onset of paralysis on 8 March and 20 February); and in Maniema province (two cases with onset of paralysis on 26 March and 18 April, with an additional isolate detected in a healthy individual with sample collection on 2 May).
  • Outbreak response plans are currently being finalised, with supplementary immunization activities using monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) in line with internationally-agreed outbreak response protocols. Surveillance and immunization activities are being strengthened in neighbouring countries.
  • The first mOPV2 campaign is planned for 27-29 June, targeting more than 750,000 children under the age of five years in the two affected provinces.
  • Surveillance and immunization activities are being strengthened in neighbouring countries.
  • DR Congo is also affected by an Ebola outbreak, in Bas Uele province in the north of the country.  Coordination among both outbreak response teams will be necessary and teams are already working on this.
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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