The World Health Organization has issued an alert that two cases of polio have been found in Rakhine State, according to a press release on December 21.
National vaccination coverage is fair-to-poor in Myanmar, with an estimated 76% of the population covered, with certain areas of the country at particular risk.
According to WHO, laboratory confirmation that VDPV type 2 polio is circulating in Myanmar was received on 7 November. The circulating VDPV2 was isolated from a 16-month old boy who developed acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) on 5 October. The child had not been previously vaccinated against polio. This strain is from the same VDPV2 strain isolated earlier this year from a polio case (a 28-month-old child) that had developed AFP on 16 April. The two cases are from the same township in Rakhine state. The genetic changes of the isolates detected in April and October suggest that the cVDPV2 may have been circulating for more than one year.
The Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, is engaging in implementing an urgent outbreak response plan.
Active searches for additional for this form of polio and other activities to enhance surveillance for polioviruses are being intensified to more clearly ascertain the extent of circulation of this strain. Surveillance and immunization activities are being strengthened in neighbouring countries.