Yemen

Status: affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 1 (cVDPV1) and (cVDPV2)

Polio this week in Yemen

  • Five cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported; two in Saadah and one each in Dhamar, Sanaa City and Hajjah. The number of cVDPV2 cases in 2022 now stands at 45. There were 66 cVDPV2 cases and three cVDPV1 cases in 2021.
  • Almost two-thirds of the areas reporting the bulk of cVDPV2 cases have not implemented any type 2-containing polio vaccination campaign, underscoring the risk both to local children and to neighbouring countries.
  • Intensive efforts are ongoing to access Yemen’s northern governorates with polio vaccine.

Yemen is affected by a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) and (cVDPV2).

With large-scale population movements with other areas of the Horn of Africa, notably Djibouti and northern Somalia, a more thorough Horn of Africa risk assessment to both type 1 and type 2 poliovirus is being conducted.

WHO advice

It is important that all countries, in particular those with frequent travel and contacts with polio-affected countries and areas, strengthen surveillance for AFP cases in order to rapidly detect any new virus importation and to facilitate a rapid response. Countries, territories and areas should also maintain uniformly high routine immunization coverage at the district level to minimize the consequences of any new virus introduction.

International Health Regulations

In its report from its most recent meeting in February 2022, the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) on the international spread of poliovirus expressed concern at the continued rapid spread of cVDPV2 and noted that the risk of international spread of cVDPV2 is currently high. The Emergency Committee strongly urged the implementation of advice aimed at reducing this risk.

Travel advice

It is important that all countries, in particular those with frequent travel and contacts with polio-affected countries and areas, strengthen surveillance for AFP cases and commence planned expansion of environmental surveillance in order to rapidly detect any new virus importation and to facilitate a rapid response. Countries, territories and areas should also maintain uniformly high routine immunization coverage at the district level to minimize the consequences of any new virus introduction.