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, with a case reported from Morobe province, as well as the same virus isolated from two healthy children from the same community.  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

  • Papua New Guinea officially launched the outbreak response campaign on 16 July in Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands provinces. Three more campaigns are planned for August, September and October.
  • On 26 June, the Papua New Guinea Government declared the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) outbreak in Morobe province a National Public Health Emergency.
  • One case of cVDPV1 and two cVDPV1 community contacts were reported in Lae, Morobe province. The case had onset of paralysis on 24 April 2018.
  • The National Department of Health (NDOH) is closely working with GPEI partners to launch a comprehensive response. The NDOH activated the National Emergency Operations Centre for the polio outbreak on 27 June 2018.
  • Mop-up vaccination has taken place in Morobe and Eastern Highlands provinces with bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV).
  • Intensified surveillance measures to improve detection of acute flaccid paralysis and poliovirus are being implemented in six provinces and the National Capital District, 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.

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