Wild poliovirus in China
Wild poliovirus confirmed in China
29 AUGUST 2011 - The Ministry of Health, China, has informed WHO that wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been isolated from four young children, aged between four months and two years, with onset of paralysis between 3 and 19 July 2011. All four cases are from Hotan prefecture, Xinjiang province, western China. Genetic sequencing of the isolated viruses indicates they are closely related to viruses currently circulating in Pakistan. The last WPV case in China was reported in 1999, due to an importation from India. The last indigenous polio case occurred in China in 1994.
A national team of epidemiologists and public health experts is already in the affected province, to assist in the investigation and planning of response activities, and this team will be joined by international support as required. Xinjiang provincial and local public health authorities are currently conducting an epidemiological investigation, including collection of stool specimens from contacts and evaluation of vaccine coverage.
The Ministry of Health plans to conduct an initial response vaccination campaign in early September, targeting 4.5 million children aged under 15 years in the immediate outbreak area, and children aged under 5 years in adjacent prefectures.
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