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

  • 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.
  • A GPEI Outbreak Response Assessment reviewed the impact of current outbreak response and concluded that overall strong response had been implemented.  Commending national and subnational public health authorities and health workers on their efforts, the Assessment team underscored the need on now filling any residual subnational surveillance and immunity gaps.
  • The team reviewed all aspects of the response, and noted significant efforts and improvements, including on service delivery, surveillance strengthening, data analysis, cold chain/reverse cold chain refurbishment, vaccine acceptance and community engagement, health worker engagement, collaboration with neighbouring Indonesia and outreach to remote areas/communities. In particular, the group noted the strong collaboration between outbreak response and strengthening of routine immunization, including through systematic collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and highlighted that this model of working should be replicated in other outbreak settings.
  • 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 May 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