IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT - International Spread of wild poliovirus (29 May 2014)
The World Health Organisation Director General declared the international spread of wild poliovirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 5 May 2014.
Temporary recommendations by the WHO currently apply to travellers from the following 10 countries where there has been active transmission of wild poliovirus in 2014: Pakistan, Cameroon, Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria.
Australians travelling to these 10 countries and staying for periods greater than 4 weeks, are encouraged to have documented evidence of having received a dose of polio vaccine within 12 months prior to departure from these countries.
Information for clinicians:
- Clinicians should discuss with travellers their vaccination requirements. As a result there may be an increase in the number of people seeking advice regarding polio vaccination related to this WHO statement.
- Ensure all travellers to these 10 countries have up to date vaccinations against polio virus, including a booster if required, and have documented evidence of this prior to departure from Australia. (See Australian Immunisation Handbook – 10th Edition).