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Polio Travel Advisories Issued for Africa and Asia

September 3, 2021 • 2:57 pm CDT
(Vax Before Travel)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reissued Level 2 Travel Advisories regarding polio outbreaks in Africa and Asia on August 30, 2021.

Destinations in Africa currently considered high risk for polio are highlighted on this CDC map. And for Asia, this map identifies the at-risk countries.

The U.S. CDC says 'everyone should be fully vaccinated against poliovirus before any international travel.'

And 'anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series.'

Polio can be prevented with a vaccine, says the CDC.

Since 2000, the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is most often given in the USA. And, certain combination vaccines also protect against disease from Polio and include the three types of poliovirus: Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett).

As of September 2, 2021, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported new polio cases in these countries last week:

  • Ethiopia: two cVDPV2 cases
  • Mali: one cVDPV2 case
  • Nigeria: twenty-three cVDPV2 cases
  • Sierra Leone: one cVDPV2 case
  • Tajikistan: one cVDPV2 case

On August 20, 2021, the World Health Organization announced the risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and recommended the extension of Temporary Recommendations for a further three months.

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that affects the nervous system, says the CDC. However, good hand washing practices can help prevent the spread of this disease.

However, because the virus that causes polio lives in the feces of an infected person, people infected with the disease can spread it to others when they do not wash their hands well after defecating. People can also be infected if they drink water or eat food contaminated with infected feces.

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