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J Infect Dis. 2014 Nov 1;210 Suppl 1:S353-60. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu069.

Outbreak of type 1 wild poliovirus infection in adults, Namibia, 2006.

Author information

1
World Health Organization (WHO) Intercountry Program Office, Harare, Zimbabwe.
2
Ministry of Health and Social Services.
3
Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health.
4
WHO Country Office, Windhoek, Namibia.
5
WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
6
National Institute for Communicable Disease, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa.
7
Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
8
WHO Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Abstract

A paralytic poliomyelitis outbreak occurred in Namibia in 2006, almost exclusively among adults. Nineteen cases were virologically confirmed as due to wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), and 26 were classified as polio compatible. Eleven deaths occurred among confirmed and compatible cases (24%). Of the confirmed cases, 97% were aged 15-45 years, 89% were male, and 71% lived in settlement areas in Windhoek. The virus was genetically related to a virus detected in 2005 in Angola, which had been imported earlier from India. The outbreak is likely due to immunity gaps among adults who were inadequately vaccinated during childhood. This outbreak underscores the ongoing risks posed by poliovirus importations, the importance of maintaining strong acute flaccid paralysis surveillance even in adults, and the need to maintain high population immunity to avoid polio outbreaks in the preeradication period and outbreaks due to vaccine-derived polioviruses in the posteradication era.

KEYWORDS:

Namibia; disease outbreak; paralysis; poliomyelitis; type 1 wild poliovirus

PMID:
25316855
DOI:
10.1093/infdis/jiu069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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