Polio alert - Ukraine and Mali (ex Guinea) – vaccination recommendations for travellers


In the past two weeks both Ukraine and Mali (ex Guinea) have reported polio. The emergence of polio has occurred due to low vaccination coverage in both countries.

28 August 2015 - Two cases of paralytic poliomyelitis caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) were confirmed in Ukraine. The cases, a 4-year-old child and a 10-month-old infant, had onset of paralysis on 30 June and 7 July respectively. Both cases are from the Zakarpatskaya oblast [region], in south-western Ukraine, bordering Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. The cases were confirmed by identification of virus in the stool samples. Ukraine has been at high risk of vaccine-preventable diseases outbreaks for several years due to persistent low routine vaccination coverage.

All travellers to Ukraine and neighbouring countries should ensure that they are up-to-date with their polio vaccinations before departure.

ECDC have published a Rapid Risk Assessment outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) in Ukraine

Bamako, 7 September 2015 - A case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been confirmed in Bamako, the capital and largest city of Mali. The country is on high alert after national authorities detected a paralysis case with onset 20 July 2015. The patient is a 19-month old child of Guinean nationality whose paralysis occurred 7 days prior to the child’s arrival in Bamako to seek health care. The last case of wild polio virus (WPV) in Mali dates back to June 2011 in Goundam, Timbuktu Region.

The current detected virus is genetically linked to a confirmed VDPV detected in Siguiri district, in the Kankan Region of Guinea in August 2014, and has been circulating across international borders for more than 2 years without detection.

All travellers to countries where polio is circulating (including Mali and Guinea) should be up-to-date with their polio vaccinations before travel.

See the WHO news on polio case in Mali