GENEVA -- Eighteen new cases of polio have been announced in Yemen, bringing the reported total number associated with an outbreak in the country to 22.
Teams of World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministry of Health epidemiologists and pediatricians remain on the ground to investigate and control the outbreak and to intensify the planning for appropriate supplementary immunization activities.
Four cases of polio were confirmed on April 20 in just one governorate in the south-western part of the country, on the
Experts are now planning an outbreak response, using the recently-developed monovalent oral polio vaccine type 1(mOPV1). This new vaccine enables a precisely tailored immunological response to the type 1 poliovirus that is causing the outbreak. Compared to the commonly-used trivalent OPV, which offers protection against all three types of wild poliovirus, mOPV1 provides a greater immunity to type 1 wild poliovirus with fewer doses. Use of mOPV1 is expected during a nationwide immunization campaign in the second half of May.
Experience in polio eradication demonstrates that outbreaks can be quickly contained with high quality immunization campaigns which reach every child under five years old.
Dedicated donor support and strong partnerships with the private sector have enabled the previous campaign in
Global eradication efforts have reduced the number of polio cases from 350,000 annually in 1988 to 1,267 cases in 2004. Six countries remain polio-endemic, with a further six where polio transmission is reestablished. Concern is high that the ongoing outbreak of polio in
Source: World Health Organization