Polio : vaccine advice

Updated: March 07, 2018


Why should you be concerned with polio?

Polio infections still occur in a few countries around the world specifically Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Outbreaks have also been reported recently in Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria. Neighbouring countries to those where polio cases are being reported are at increased risk of polio.

There is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented by vaccination. Some countries may require that you show proof of polio vaccination to enter or leave their country.  

What is polio?

Polio (Poliomyeltis) is a highly contagious disease. It can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through the feces of a person who is infected with the virus and through contaminated food and water.  

How can you protect yourself from polio virus?

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.  Tell your health care provider where you will be travelling and for how long.

Get vaccinated against polio if you:  

Infants and children under 18 years of age:

Adult (18 years and older):

Find out where polio is circulating and if you need proof of vaccination:

Eat and drink safely

Practise good hand hygiene:

Information for health care providers

The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) has developed a statement on poliovirus and the international traveller in accordance with the World Health Organization's (WHO) temporary recommendations.

On February 14, 2018 the WHO released an update regarding the international spread of polio and temporary recommendations. The situation is reviewed every three months.

For the latest updates on WHO Temporary Recommendations please consult the Global Eradication Initiative.

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