Published On: Mon, Feb 11th, 2013

Poliovirus found in sewage samples in Cairo, Egypt

A strain of wild poliovirus genetically similar to a strain found in Sindh, Pakistan, has been found in environmental sewage samples from two areas of Cairo, Egypt, according a World Health Organization (WHO) Global Alert and Response Feb. 11.



Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was isolated from sewage samples collected on 2 and 6 December 2012 in two areas of greater Cairo according to the WHO.

The isolates were detected through routine environmental surveillance in Egypt that involves regular testing of sewage water from multiple sites.

It is important to note, the virus has only been detected in sewage, there are no cases of polio reported from Egypt.

The Egyptian government implemented an outbreak response due to the discovery, which included supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) were conducted in the two areas of Cairo from where the environmental samples had been collected, reaching more than 155,000 children with trivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV).

Mass polio vaccination  campaigns are planned across Cairo in March and nationally in April.

The WHO says that this event confirms ongoing international spread of a pathogen (WPV) slated for eradication. In addition, they assess the risk of further international spread of these virus strains from Pakistan as high.

Pakistan is one of three remaining polio endemic countries remaining on the globe, Nigeria and Afghanistan being the others.

Egypt stopped transmission of indigenous WPV, with its last case in May 2004.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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