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Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
Poliomyelitis Outbreak, Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo, September 2010–February 2011
Arnaud Le Menach, Comments to Author Augusto E. Llosa, Isabelle Mouniaman-Nara, Felix Kouassi, Joseph Ngala, Naomi Boxall, Klaudia Porten, and Rebecca F. Grais
Author affiliations: Health Protection Agency, London, UK (A. Le Menach, N. Boxall); European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Stockholm, Sweden (A. Le Menach); Epicentre, Paris, France (A.E. Llosa, K. Porten, R. F. Grais); Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris (I. Mouniaman-Nara, F. Kouassi); Médecins Sans Frontières, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo (I. Mouniaman-Nara, F. Kouassi); and Ministry of Health, Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo (J. Ngala)
Suggested citation for this article
On November 4, 2010, the Republic of the Congo declared a poliomyelitis outbreak. A cross-sectional survey in Pointe-Noire showed poor sanitary conditions and low vaccination coverage (55.5%), particularly among young adults. Supplementary vaccination should focus on older age groups in countries with evidence of immunity gaps.
On November 4, 2010, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of the Congo officially declared a poliomyelitis outbreak centered in Pointe-Noire following the laboratory identification of poliovirus type 1 in a patient with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) (1,2). A provisional total of 554 AFP case-patients that included a high proportion (68%) of male patients was identified nationally, with paralysis onset from September 20, 2010, through February 27, 2011 (3). During this same period, 451 cases (81.4%), which included 184 deaths, were reported in Pointe-Noire. Most cases were found in the young adult population (57.4% in patients 15–24 years of age), which had a higher case-fatality ratio (CFR) of 40.8% compared with the general population of the country (3).
In most developing countries, prevention and control of poliomyelitis relies on oral polio vaccine (OPV). Routine vaccination focuses on infants <11 months of age with trivalent OPV, and supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) provide additional opportunities for vaccination for children <5 years of age (4,5). In response to the epidemic, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, launched 4 rounds of national SIAs that used monovalent type 1 and bivalent types 1 and 3 OPV during November 12–16, 2010, December 3–7, 2010, January 11–15, 2011, and February 22–26, 2011 (3). To assess risk factors for infection and estimate vaccination coverage, Epicentre and Médecins Sans Frontières implemented a cross-sectional survey in 1 affected neighborhood of Pointe-Noire.
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Suggested Citation for this Article
Le Menach A, Llosa AE, Mouniaman-Nara I, Kouassi F, Ngala J, Boxall N, et al. Poliomyelitis outbreak, Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo, September 2010–February 2011. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Aug [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/17/8/110195.htm
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