15 more VDPV cases, global polio update

The 15 cVDPV2 cases recorded this week included two infections in Kabul (the remainder across six provinces) and in Pakistan there were no infections to report, however positive environmental samples were detected for both WPV and cVDPV2. And in Africa, Chad’s single cVDPV2 case was from Logone Oriental region (the risk of further virus spread across the Lake Chad subregion remains high), while Somalia reported three cVDPV2 cases (Banadir and Galbeed). South Sudan’s government has partnered with international agencies in a polio and measles vaccination drive for children across several states – five have reported VDPV cases recently. More on measles from a WHO release which expanded on the global burden of the disease – cases rose by 50 percent in the three years to 2019 when more than 207,000 lives were lost to the infection. The surge was attributed by the authors to ‘a failure to vaccinate children on time with two doses of measles-containing vaccines’; on a global level coverage with the second dose sits at only 71 percent. Read more

Advice for travellers

Poliomyelitis is a potentially serious viral illness that is spread through contact with infected faeces or saliva. The risk to travellers is generally low, however vaccination is recommended for travel to affected regions and is a requirement for travel to/from some countries. If at risk, adults should have a booster to the childhood series. More on polio.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.