Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Poliomyelitis in Angola

1 July 2005

On 24 June 2005, the Ministry of Health of Angola reported a polio case. Angola has not had a case of polio since 2001. A 17-month old girl with a previous history of oral polio vaccine (OPV) developed fever and paralysis in both legs on 25 April, in the metropolitan area of the capital, Luanda.

Genetic sequencing of the type-1 wild poliovirus shows that it originated in India. Virological and epidemiological evidence suggest a recent importation. The affected child and her family have no travel history. An investigation did not detect spread beyond the community.

Outreach from routine immunization services has been stepped up in advance of the campaign. The national routine immunization coverage of children against polio is estimated to be 45%.

A nationwide polio vaccination campaign is planned 29-31 July. Authorities are considering the use of a combination of monovalent oral polio vaccine (mOPV) in the immediate area of the case and trivalent oral polio vaccine in the rest of the country for maximum impact. This will be followed by another round in August.

Health authorities have immediately intensified Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance in the infected district and surrounding areas and WHO/African Region has notified neighbouring countries.

Briefings with all community and religious leaders, non-governmental organizations and traditional healers are taking place in all municipalities of Luanda.

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