Papua New Guinea

Status: affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus

Circulation of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) has been confirmed in Papua New Guinea. Surveillance for AFP cases is being strengthened and an outbreak response will be implemented.

The detection of cVDPVs underscores the importance of maintaining high levels of routine vaccination coverage at all levels to minimize the risk and consequences of any poliovirus circulation. A robust outbreak response is needed to rapidly stop the VDPV1 transmission. WHO will continue to evaluate the epidemiological situation and outbreak response measures being implemented.

Papua New Guinea confirms poliovirus outbreak, launches response – news release
100 Days of the Polio Outbreak Response in Papua New Guinea – report

Polio this week in Papua New Guinea

  • The Papua New Guinea Polio Outbreak Response Report 2018 is online. The report summarizes the accomplishments of the Government of Papua New Guinea, with support from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Rotary, the Government of Australia and New Zealand and other partners and donors in responding to the polio outbreak.
  • No new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) were reported this week.  The total number of cases in 2018 remains 26.
  • The most recent cVDPV1 virus was isolated from an environmental sample collected in the National Capital district on 6 November 2018.
  • Emergency Operation Centres are established and operational at the national level and in all affected provinces; environmental surveillance is functional in five sites in two major cities.
  • Three Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs) of expanding scope have taken place since late July, from three provinces to nine, to nationwide. The most recent was aimed at children under the age of 15, due to large numbers of poorly-immunized older children.
  • Planning is underway for the next steps of the outbreak response, focusing on both vaccination and surveillance for polioviruses.
  • Read our Papua New Guinea country page to see information on surveillance and vaccination campaigns.


International Health Regulations

Papua New Guinea is classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR) as a state infected with cVDPV1, with potential risk of international spread. It is therefore subject to temporary recommendations as of February 2019.

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