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Algeria Confirmed First Wild Polio Case in 2022

September 14, 2022 • 4:22 pm CDT
(Vax Before Travel)

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced yesterday it was notified of a case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) from Tamanrasset province, southern Algeria.

This represents the first cVDPV2 case identified in the country.

Local public health authorities are conducting a field investigation and an active search for additional AFP cases.

Furthermore, the WHO stated on September 13, 2022, a reactive Immunization campaign is also planned.

According to the 2021 WHO-UNICEF immunization coverage estimates, Pol3 (3rd dose of polio-containing vaccine) coverage was 91%.

And IPV1 (one dose of the inactivated polio vaccine) coverage was 94%.

The WHO considers there to be a continued high risk of international spread of cVDPV2 due to persisting suboptimal immunity, surveillance gaps, and large-scale population movements.

Vaccine-derived poliovirus is a well-documented strain mutated from the strain initially contained in the oral polio vaccine (OPV).

OPV contains a live, weakened form of poliovirus that replicates in the intestine for a limited period, thereby developing immunity by building antibodies.

On rare occasions, when replicating in the gastrointestinal tract, OPV strains genetically change and may spread in communities that are not fully vaccinated against polio, especially in areas with poor hygiene, poor sanitation, or overcrowding.

The lower the population immunity, the longer this virus survives and the more genetic changes it undergoes.

In rare instances, the vaccine-derived virus can genetically change into a form that can cause paralysis, as does the wild poliovirus – this is known as a vaccine-derived poliovirus.

Algeria was included in the CDC's Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, polio outbreak notice issued on September 6, 2022.

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