Delayed reporting of polio

This week the GPEI advised that 15 cVDPV1 cases (aged 8mo to 13 years) have been detected in Saada Governorate. The infections were dated between late January and mid-June, however ongoing conflict has interrupted testing. Investigations suggest the virus has been circulating undetected in the country for up to 2 years. In other polio news, new wild poliovirus 1 cases have been recorded in Afghanistan (one each in Uruzgan, Kandahar and Hilmand provinces) and two in Pakistan (Balochistan and Punjab provinces), while in Africa, circulating type 2 virus (cVDPV2) cases were reported in Côte d'Ivoire (four cases from Gbokle-Nawa-San, Poro-Tchologo-Bagoue, Tonkpi), one in Nigeria (Sokoto province) and two in Somalia (Banadir province) – Sudan’s cases were listed in last week’s post.

And after four years without wild polio cases across the continent, yesterday the independent Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for Polio Eradication declared Africa to be wild polio-free. As the GPEI noted, global polio eradication is closer with over 90 percent of the world’s population now living wild polio-free.

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.