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

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 the country in 2018 remains 12 (four from Eastern Highlands, two from Enga, two from Madang and one from National capital district and three from Morobe provinces).
  • Papua New Guinea officially launched its outbreak response campaign on 16 July in Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands provinces. Round 2 of the outbreak response commenced 20 August in Madang, Morobe, and Eastern Highlands provinces while vaccination activities in Chimbu, Enga, Hela, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands, and Western Highlands provinces began on 27 August. Nationwide campaigns are planned for October/November.
  • The geographic extent of the outbreak response is currently being reviewed and will be expanded as necessary.
  • Intensified surveillance measures to improve detection of acute flaccid paralysis and poliovirus are being implemented across the country, with on-the-ground training for provincial and district staff being provided by NDOH and WHO.
  • 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 August 2018.

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