Outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in Albania, 1996: High attack rate among adults and apparent interruption of transmission following nationwide mass vaccination

D. Rebecca Prevots, Marta L. Ciofi Degli Atti, Alexander Sallabanda, Eleni Diamante, R. Bruce Aylward, Eduard Kakariqqi, Lucia Fiore, Alban Ylli, Harrie Van Der Avoort, Roland W. Sutter, Alberto E. Tozzi, Pietro Panei, Nicola Schinaia, Domenico Genovese, George Oblapenko, Donato Greco, Steven G F Wassilak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

After >10 years without detection of any cases of wild virus-associated poliomyelitis, a large outbreak of poliomyelitis occurred in Albania in 1996. A total of 138 paralytic cases occurred, of which 16 (12%) were fatal. The outbreak was due to wild poliovirus type 1, isolated from 69 cases. An attack rate of 10 per 100,000 population was observed among adults aged 19-25 years who were born during a time of declining wild poliovirus circulation and had been vaccinated with two doses of monovalent oral poliovirus vaccines (OPVs) that may have been exposed to ambient temperatures for prolonged periods. Control of the epidemic was achieved by two rounds of mass vaccination with trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine targeted to persons aged 0-50 years. This outbreak underscores the ongoing threat of importation of wild poliovirus into European countries, the importance of delivering potent vaccine through an adequate cold chain, and the effectiveness of national OPV mass vaccination campaigns for outbreak control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-425
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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