International spread of wild poliovirus WHO Statement - Summary of Statement
WHO statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee concerning the international spread of wild poliovirus WHO Statement: 5 May 2014
On the 5th of May 2014 the World Health Organization declared the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The Director-General endorsed the Emergency Committee's advice for 'States currently exporting wild polioviruses' and for 'States infected with wild poliovirus but not currently exporting' and issued them as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR (2005) to reduce the international spread of wild poliovirus, effective 5 May 2014.
1. States currently exporting wild poliovirus - Pakistan, Cameroon, and the Syrian Arab Republic
WHO recommends that these countries which pose the greatest risk of further wild poliovirus exportations in 2014, should
- Officially declare that the interruption of poliovirus transmission is a national public health emergency;
- Ensure that all residents and long-term visitors (i.e. > 4 weeks) receive a dose of oral polio virus (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between 4 weeks and 12 months prior to international travel; and for those undertaking urgent international travel such travellers should receive a dose of polio vaccine at least by the time of departure.
- That all such travellers are issued International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis in the form specified in Annex 6 of the International Health Regulations (2005) to record their polio vaccination and serve as proof of vaccination.
2. States infected with wild poliovirus but not currently exporting - Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and particularly Nigeria
These countries pose an ongoing risk for new wild poliovirus exportations in 2014. These countries should
- Officially declare, if not already done, that the interruption of poliovirus transmission is a national public health emergency;
- Encourage residents and long-term visitors to receive a dose of OPV or IPV 4 weeks to 12 months prior to international travel; those undertaking urgent travel (i.e. within 4 weeks) should be encouraged to receive a dose at least by the time of departure;
- Ensure that travellers who receive such vaccination have access to an appropriate document to record their polio vaccination status;
Further information is available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/polio-20140505/en/
Vaccination recommendation for travellers from Ireland to these countries
All travellers from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is a risk are advised to ensure that they have received the correct number of polio vaccine doses, according to their age and following national recommendations. The primary immunisation programme provides IPV at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
A booster dose is routinely recommended for all children at 4-5 years of age. Anyone who has missed their booster dose should obtain it from their GP.
For fully vaccinated persons aged 10 years and over travelling to countries where polio transmission is a risk, in contact with patients who may be excreting polio virus or in contact with specimen that may contain polio virus they should be given a single dose of Tdap/IPV before travel.
Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland
The WHO position paper on Polio vaccines (January 2014)