Polio count rises to 36

Another four wild poliovirus1 cases were reported last week (three in KP province and one in Sindh), while Afghanistan's 2020 total has risen to three with one more infection reported (Farah province). Read more. African countries continue to be beset by cVDPV2 infections as this week: Benin reported its first case this year (Borgou province), two cases in the DRC Kwilu province), five cases each in Ethiopia (four in Oromiya province, one in SNNP region), Ghana (Ashanti province had three and one each in Bono and Western North provinces) and Togo (Lomt province had three and two in Savanes province). Collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the suspension of vaccination campaigns in countries affected by WPV and cVDPV until later in the year (unfortunately this is also likely for other vital immunisation programmes preventing vaccine-preventable diseases.

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.