Risk of introduction of poliovirus into a Dutch Cape Verdian community during an outbreak of poliovirus in Cape Verde, 2000

Paul L J M Mertens, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Harrie G A M van der Avoort, Jan Hendrik Richardus

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To assess the risk of introduction of polio virus in a Cape Verdian community of Rotterdam, during the polio epidemic in Cape Verde in 2000.

METHODS: All 225 insufficiently vaccinated 0-14-year-old Cape Verdian children (n=4188) and a random sample of 285 out of all 15-30-year-old Cape Verdians (n=5074) in Rotterdam were surveyed to assess travel behaviour and vaccination coverage. Faecal specimens were collected and sewage samples taken in neighbourhoods with a sizable Cape Verdian population for testing of polio virus.

RESULTS: During the polio epidemic in Cape Verde, 10% of insufficiently vaccinated children aged 0-14 years and 17% of adults aged 15-30 years living in Rotterdam reported travelling to Cape Verde. 94.6% of Cape Verdians in Rotterdam aged 0-14 years were sufficiently vaccinated against polio, but 9 of 91 insufficiently vaccinated children had travelled to Cape Verde during the epidemic. Of those aged 15-30 years, 10% were not vaccinated against polio. In the faeces of 80 insufficiently vaccinated individuals aged 0-14 years and in 74 adults aged 15-30 years, no poliovirus was detected. Samples of sewage from six sites were negative for poliovirus.

CONCLUSION: No evidence of poliovirus infection was found in the Cape Verde population in Rotterdam despite extensive travel to the Cape Verde during the outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)746-750
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa, Western/epidemiology
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Feces/virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Poliomyelitis/epidemiology
  • Poliovirus/isolation & purification
  • Population Surveillance/methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Travel
  • Vaccination/methods


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