29 Jul 2019

Myanmar: New outbreak of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV)

Circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) has been detected in Kayin Province, Myanmar Myanmar: New outbreak of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV)

An outbreak of circulating vaccine derived polio virus type 1 (cVDPV1) in Myanmar, has been reported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The vaccine derived virus was isolated in Kayin province from two acute flaccid paralysis cases with onset of paralysis 22 May and 14 June 2019 respectively [1]. An investigation is ongoing to ascertain the source and origin of the isolated viruses; surveillance is being strengthened [1] and an outbreak response is underway [2].

Myanmar has an estimated vaccination coverage rate of over 89% with bivalent oral polio vaccine (containing types 1 and 3 poliovirus) [1]. The country has faced challenges with vaccine derived polio virus (VDPV) in hard-to-reach and conflict areas. The most recent previous outbreak of cVDPV (type 2) in Myanmar occurred during 2015 [3].

Circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV), like wild poliovirus (WPV), has the potential to cause paralysis in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals. CVDPVs can arise in populations who are inadequately vaccinated and where sanitation and personal hygiene is poor [4]. Eradication of cVDPV is an important part of the strategy to end polio transmission globally [5].

Advice for travellers

CVDPV can be transmitted via the faecal-oral route, through exposure to water contaminated by infected human faeces, or by direct person to person contact. You are advised to practise strict food, water and personal hygiene.

Independent of your travel destination, you should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK.

If you are travelling to Myanmar, you should make sure you have completed a full course of a polio-containing vaccine. Vaccines used in the UK will provide protection against all types of polio virus. If your last dose of polio vaccine was given 10 or more years ago, you should have a booster dose before travel to Myanmar.

Children who are travelling should be up to date with an age appropriate course of polio vaccine.

For specific outbreak information, check our Outbreak Surveillance section.

The polio status of countries is reviewed by World Health Organization (WHO) on a regular basis and polio vaccination recommendations are subject to change. For individual country specific advice, check our Country Information pages.

Further details on the global polio situation are available from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

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