Polio digest, 1st VDPV infection in Liberia

Six years after cVDPV1 was last detected in Madagascar, three infections have been reported by the GPEI from two different locations – two cases in the SE (added to the global count for 2020) and one in the SW, however there was also notification of positive environmental samples in the NW region of Boeny. The last cVDPV1 cases – 11 overall - were recorded in 2014-15 and polio-free status was granted three years later, in 2018. Liberia’s first reported cVDPV2 case, in the north-central county of Bong, comes only months after the announcement that positive environmental samples had been collected in Monrovia (linked to the Côte d’Ivoire outbreak). Elsewhere, more cVDPV2 cases were logged in the D R of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan in Africa and one case each in Afghanistan (Hirat) and Tajikistan (Khatlon).

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.