Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Status: has stopped indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) circulation but affected by outbreak of imported WPV or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus

A recent outbreak assessment found that circulation of vaccine-derived poliovirus has apparently ceased; the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations will validate this finding at its April 2017 meeting.

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.

Polio this week in Lao People's Democratic Republic

  • No new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type one (cVDPV1) were reported in the past week. The most recent case was reported in Fuang district of Vientiane province, with onset of paralysis on 11 January 2016. The total number of cVDPV1 cases remains three in 2016 and eight in 2015.
  • A recent outbreak response assessment, reviewing epidemiological and surveillance data, found significant improvements, in particular in surveillance, and concluded that it is unlikely that transmission is continuing in the country.
  • Outbreaks of cVDPVs can arise in areas with low population immunity, emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong vaccination coverage.
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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


IHR Classification

Lao People’s Democratic is classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR) as a state infected with wild poliovirus or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus but not currently exporting and hence it is subject to temporary recommendations as of February 2017.