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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Poliomyelitis in Somalia

13 May 2013

An investigation has been launched into a preliminary report of the detection of a wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in the Banadir region of Somalia. This is the 1st WPV to be reported from Somalia since 25 Mar 2007. The virus was isolated from specimens collected on 21 Apr 2013 from a 32-month-old girl, who became ill on 18 Apr 2013.

An immediate vaccination response with oral polio vaccine has been planned for 14-16 May 2013. The vaccination campaign aims to reach 350 000 children under the age of 5 years in all 16 districts of Banadir region.

Advice for Travellers

It is recommended that travellers have a poliomyelitis booster (or course) if not already protected and take precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.