The World Health Organization has declared the recent spread of polio an international public health emergency.  Recommendations have been made to prevent any further spread of the virus.  Countries of concern include: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria; recommendations apply to residents and long term visitors.  The situation will be closely monitored and updated when further information is available. Travellers are advised to seek travel health advise prior to departure.  There is little or no risk to travelers going to countries where polio has been eradicated.  Risk factors depend on length of stay, type of travel and living conditions.  It is important to seek travel health advice to ensure your immunizations are up to date and to be obtain up to date information on travel health risks.


Polio: Syria

by Wayne Ghesquiere on October 30, 2013

The World Health Organization has reported 10 confirmed cases of wild poliovirus in the province of Dayr as Zawr since early October 2013.  Prior to these reports the last case of polio virus was reported in 1999.  1 confirmed case of polio generally represents hundreds of asymptomatic cases in the population.

Travellers to Syria are recommended to get 1 adult booster in addition to the routine polio vaccine series schedule.  To ensure all your travel vaccines are to date, visit a travel health provider a recommended 4-6 weeks prior to departure.