One case of polio detected in Ukraine
In Ukraine, one case of poliomyelitis (polio), has been confirmed in an unvaccinated child. The child developed paralysis as a result of this infection. The same virus was identified in household contacts of the child (siblings). The strain of polio virus that has been identified is similar to a strain that originated in Pakistan and has also been identified in Tajikistan. This specific strain is derived from a vaccine strain found in oral polio vaccines which are no longer used in Europe.
The Government of Ukraine officially notified WHO of the isolated virus on 3 October 2021 and publicly announced the case detection on 6 October 2021. Local authorities, along with WHO teams are conducting further investigations to determine the source of the isolated virus and whether there has been transmission within Ukraine, and to assess any potential risk of further spread within Ukraine and other countries.
Local health teams are offering a polio vaccine for any children who may have missed routine polio vaccination and ensure that all are protected from the disease. This is scheduled for 11th to 22nd October with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) for children aged less than five years of age, regardless of previous vaccination history, in the immediate area of where the case was detected. Additional vaccination activities will aim to cover the entire population of under-five year olds in this region over the coming 90 days.
All individuals travelling from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is occurring should ensure that they have appropriate polio vaccination to protect against this disease. All residents of Ukraine travelling internationally are recommended a dose of the inactivated polio vaccine four weeks to 12 months before international travel.