Travellers to some African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries alerted to need for polio vaccine
The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) recommends that travellers to a number of African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries need to ensure that they have been vaccinated against polio following the emergence of the virus in these areas.
In the past 12 months there has been an emergence of wild polio virus transmission in many countries where previously polio was believed to be well controlled. Currently 10 countries have active wild poliovirus outbreaks that could spread to other countries through the movement of people.
The three countries most likely to export virus via travellers are Pakistan, Cameroon, Syria. However polio virus has been indentified in seven other countries, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, and Somalia. Currently, residents from, and long term visitors to, Pakistan, Cameroon, Syria are now required to show international certificates of polio vaccination before departing from these countries.
Vaccination against polio in Ireland is provided as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule. However if somebody has not been vaccinated against polio for whatever reason, then polio vaccination is recommended for all travellers to polio-endemic or epidemic areas.
Information on immunisation in Ireland is available from www.immunisation.ie
For information on polio go to HPSC: Polio