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

  • Three new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The cases are reported from Tanganyika province, two cases in Ankoro district, with onset of paralysis on 30 November 2017, and 3 December 2017, and one case in Manono district, with onset on 1 December 2017.
  • The total number of officially reported cVDPV2 cases in the DRC in 2017 is now 21. There are no cases reported in 2018.
  • Outbreak response continues to take place across the country, including use of monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) in line with internationally-agreed outbreak response protocols.
  • Children living in the districts where the latest cases were reported were last targeted with mOPV2 during December vaccination days.
  • Surveillance and immunization activities continue to be strengthened in neighbouring countries.
  • Read the latest polio update from the DRC 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 August 2017.

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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