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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

International Measures to Stop Spread of Wild Poliovirus (Update)

23 Aug 2016

The tenth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2015) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus, took place on 11 August 2016.

The Committee was concerned by the 2 new cases of infection with wild polio virus 1 (WPV1) reported from Nigeria during July 2016, and potential for international spread between Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The progress being made in Afghanistan and Pakistan toward eradication of polio was noted by the Committee. They were, however, concerned by deteriorating security in parts of Afghanistan making children more difficult to reach with immunisation. Globally there are significant vulnerable areas and people that are inadequately immunised due to conflict and poor coverage. These vulnerable areas include countries in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and Central Africa.

The Committee assessed that the event still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and recommended the extension of the Temporary Recommendations for a further 3 months

Advice for Travellers

Travellers are encouraged to take strict precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.

In addition, in order to comply with the WHO and ECDC recommendations and also to avoid travellers being vaccinated in the polio-infected country, authorities in the UK have made specific vaccination recommendations.

Please refer to individual country records for further information.

In England, Public Health England and NaTHNaC have issued advice which is different to that in Scotland (please look at Travel Health Pro Clinical Updates for full details).