Outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in the Chechen Republic in 1995.
ABSTRACT An outbreak of poliomyelitis with 146 cases among children of whom six died occurred in the Chechen Republic in 1995. Sporadic cases of poliomyelitis have been reported in the neighbouring Ingush Republic. The outbreak lasted for five months (from May to September) and the maximum number of cases was registered in July. The age of the patients did not exceed 11 years, and more than 90% of the patients were children aged from one month to four years. The overwhelming majority of the patients had not been vaccinated in the routine OPV immunization programme. The outbreak was due to wild poliovirus type 1 belonging to genotype T previously known to circulate in the territory of the former Soviet Union (FSU). Chechen and Ingush isolates were very closely related to each other and to isolates from Central Asia, Tajikistan, 1994. Only a very distant relatedness of the Chechen and Ingush isolates was found with the strains isolated at about the same time outside the FSU (China 1994, Pakistan 1995). The presence of high numbers of non-vaccinated/poorly vaccinated persons and the poor sanitary and hygienic conditions for civilians due to the military conflict were factors that had a role in the outbreak.