An outbreak of poliomyelitis in the Indonesian region of West Java has so far seen four people in and around the village of Giri Jaya confirmed with the disease, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said on Tuesday (May 10).

The outbreak of the disease marks reappearance of wildtype polio in Indonesia for the first time since 1995. Molecular epidemiologists working for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have in the past few days clarified the likely route the virus took from Nigeria to Indonesia.

"It's very likely a direct exportation. We ran it through our database and it matched up closely with an isolate from Saudi Arabia," Olen Kew, chief of the molecular virology lab at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, told The Scientist.

Some press reports have suggested that Saudi Arabia or the Sudan might be the immediate source, Kew said, but "the genetic data...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?