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Poliomyelitis - Democratic Republic of the Congo

As of October 2018, genetically-linked circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) isolates were detected in two cases from Haut-Katanga province (Mufunga-Sampwe district) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first case was a 11-year old child who experienced onset of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) on 6 October. The second case was a 29-month old child who experienced onset of symptoms on 7 October, and is a known contact of the first case. The isolated viruses are a new emergence and unrelated to previously-detected cVDPV2s affecting the country. This is the fourth distinct outbreak of cVDPV2 detected in the country since June 2017. In total, 42 cVDPV2 cases have now been confirmed since detection of the first outbreak in June 2017, 20 cases of which were detected in 2018. In February 2018, the government declared cVDPV2 to be a national public health emergency. On 26 July 2018, the Minister of Health, WHO Director General, the Regional Director for Africa, and provincial governors convened an urgent, high-level meeting and signed the ‘Kinshasa Declaration for Polio Eradication’. Provincial governors pledged to provide the necessary oversight, accountability and resources required to urgently improve the quality of the outbreak response being implemented across the country. It is imperative that the remaining operational gaps in outbreak response are urgently filled with the appropriate oversight and engagement.

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