No wild poliovirus cases were reported to the GPEI this past week, but unfortunately not so for circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2): in Afghanistan (six cases in Nangarhar province), Burkina Faso (Centre-Nord and Ouagadougou provinces – one each), Ethiopia (one in SNNP province) and Côte d’Ivoire (three in Gbokle-Nawa-San-Pedro province and one in Goh province). The onset of the June-August peak transmission season in Pakistan and the suspension of the polio immunisation programme in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic have sparked concerns over a resurgence of the disease, particularly for the 40 million children under 5 years targeted in the campaign and for residents of high risk districts.
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.