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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 12 May 2017
From: A reliable source known to ProMED-mail [edited]
The current information is that there is a cluster of 23 AFP [acute flaccid paralysis] cases in Miadin district, with one of the specimens having a possible vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV). Samples were sent to Atlanta for further testing.
A concern is that the VDPV is a cVDPV [circulating vaccine derived poliovirus] which is now considered to be just like a wild polio. (The virus is a type 2 virus).
The investigation will reveal the status of this case and the hope is that it will be ambiguous or perhaps in an immune deficient individual.
A reliable source known to ProMED-mail
[This is the 1st validation we have received of the media report of [Fri 5 May 2017] which mentioned a cluster of suspected polio cases in Deir al Zour Syria (see Poliomyelitis update (05): Syria (DY) susp, RFI 20170506.5015784). In the original media report, there was mention of 15 suspected cases, in this current report there is mention of 23 cases of AFP in the same area. As this is an area of civil strife, and an area that had an outbreak of WPV (wild poliovirus) associated polio in 2013 at which time there were vaccination campaigns. It is possible that with the lower routine vaccination coverages, there may well be circulation of a vaccine derived poliovirus among the inadequately vaccinated population. The mention that a type 2 poliovirus was identified would be consistent with a VDPV as WPV2 has not been identified as associated with paralytic poliomyelitis since October 1999 and was declared as eradicated.
We await further news on the ongoing investigation and results of further laboratory studies.