Travellers

News

3 August 2012

Polio Update – Global situation as of 1 August 2012.

Polio remains endemic in three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan [1]. In 2012, there have been 103 reported cases of polio worldwide: 98 in endemic countries and five in Chad, a non-endemic country [2].  

Polio in endemic countries:

Afghanistan

As of 1 August, 15 cases have been reported in 2012. The most recent case (Wild Polio Virus 1 [WPV1]) was reported from Hilmand, with onset of paralysis on 5 July.

Nigeria

As of 1 August, 60 cases have been reported in 2012. The most recent case (WPV1) was reported from Kano, with onset of paralysis on 1 July [2].

 
In January, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) described Nigeria (along with Pakistan) as the gravest risk to global polio eradication [3].


Pakistan

As of 1 August, 23 cases have been reported in 2012. The most recently reported case (WPV1), in Balochistan, experienced onset of paralysis on 22 June [2].

Imported polio in non-endemic countries:

Angola has achieved a year without reporting a single case of polio. Angola originally eradicated polio in 2001, but has suffered repeated re-importations since 2005 [4].

Chad is the only non-endemic country worldwide to report polio in 2012. As of 1 August, five cases have been reported in 2012. The most recently reported case (WPV1) in Lac province, experienced onset of paralysis on 14 June [2]. As re-established virus is still circulating throughout Chad, the priority is to improve the quality of nationwide campaigns [5].

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has not reported cases in 2012; transmission became re-established in DRC in 2009 following importation of the virus.  The most recent case (WPV1) was reported in December 2011. A programme of enhanced surveillance and supplementary immunisation is ongoing [6].

No new cases have been reported in West Africa during 2012. The most recently reported case (WPV1) was from Niger and had onset of paralysis on 22 December 2011 [2].  

India has not reported a case of wild polio or detected the virus in environmental sampling since 13 January 2011. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers India to have interrupted transmission of wild poliovirus [7].

 

Advice for travellers:

Polio is transmitted via contaminated food and water. Travellers should practise strict food, water and personal hygiene and complete a primary vaccination course for polio, according to the UK schedule. A history of previous polio infection is not a contraindication to polio vaccination [8].

NaTHNaC recommends all visitors to countries with current wild poliovirus transmission or countries reporting transmission in the past three years should have a booster dose of a polio-containing vaccine if they have not received one in the previous 10 years.

Specific recommendations for polio vaccination for each country can be found on the NaTHNaC Country Information Pages.

Further details on the global polio situation can be found on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and World Health Organization websites. More information on polio can be found on the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on polio.

References

1. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Infected countries. 2012. [Accessed 3 August, 2012]. Available at:

http://www.polioeradication.org/Infectedcountries.aspx

2. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Polio this week - As of 1 August 2012 [Accessed 3 August, 2012]. Available at:

http://www.polioeradication.org/casecount.asp

3. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Nigeria – staff surge to fully implement polio emergency plan. 2 July 2012. [Accessed 3 August, 2012]. Available at: http://www.polioeradication.org/tabid/461/iid/227/Default.aspx

4. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Reaching the last child: Luanda. 18 July 2012 [Accessed 3 August, 2012]. Available at:

http://www.polioeradication.org/tabid/461/iid/231/Default.aspx

5. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Strategy to eradicate polio in Chad. 2012. [Accessed 3 August 2012]. Available at: http://www.polioeradication.org/Infectedcountries/Chad/Chad

strategy.aspx

6.  Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Strategy to eradicate polio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 2012. [Accessed 2 August 2012]. Available at: http://www.polioeradication.org/Infectedcountries/Democratic

RepublicoftheCongo/DemocraticRepublicofthe

Congostrategy.aspx

7. Global Polio Eradication Initiative. India. 2012. [Accessed 2 August 2012]. Available at:

http://www.polioeradication.org/Infectedcountries/India.aspx

8. Contraindications and special considerations. In; Salisbury D, Ramsay M, Noakes K (Eds). Immunisation against infectious disease 2006. The Stationary Office, London. Ch 6. . Available at:

http://immunisation.dh.gov.uk/gb-individual-current-chapters/

 

Links

Health Protection Agency: Polio

NaTHNaC Country Information Pages

NaTHNaC Outbreak Surveillance Search