Polio digest for Asia, Africa

No wild polio cases were confirmed in the weekly update from the GPEI, however a more recent local news article reported on the death of a 14yo boy, the second fatal case in Lahore last month. In Afghanistan, vaccine-derived polio type 2 cases were registered in Kabul, Nangahar and Laghman, and Africa’s cases continue to mount: Chad added five more cVDPV2 cases (Logone Oriental, Mayo Kebbi Est, Tandjile, Wadi Fira); Côte d’Ivoire had six cases (GbokleNawa-San, Hambol, Haut Sassandra, Loh-Djiboua); the DRC reported one case in Kwilu province and there were two cases in Ethiopia’s Oromiya province. In a recent development, two VDPV2 cases were confirmed in Sudan (one each in South Darfur and Gedaref), however confirmed positive environmental samples were detected from nine states in total, suggesting wide circulation of the virus. The country experienced its last outbreak 11 years ago but the presence of cases in neighbouring countries (Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Chad) has heightened the risk of spread to Sudan.

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.