Polio advice updated

Polio advice updated

At the recent meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) under International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 the data on wild poliovirus (WPV) and circulating vaccine derived polioviruses (cVDPV) were reviewed and it was agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

The IHR 2005 are an international instrument that is legally binding on all World Health Organization (WHO) Member States that seeks to prevent, protect against, control, and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease. Following the meeting, temporary recommendations to reduce the risk of international spread of poliovirus were extended for a further three months, effective from 27 August 2018. The full statement details progress made towards stopping transmission of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) and can be viewed here.

When it comes to advice for travellers, they are advised that polio is transmitted by exposure to water contaminated by infected human faeces, or by person to person contact and that they should practise strict food, water and personal hygiene. Further advice for travellers is to be vaccinated against the disease and carry documentary evidence of their polio vaccination status.