Travel Clinic London – Travel Alert, East Africa, 20 February 2014

Polio cases continue to be reported from Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention)  are recommending travellers be vaccinated for Polio, with adults having a booster dose before travel to these countries. For those going to do medical or aid work in neighbouring countries Uganda, Djibouti, Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea should also consider a booster dose in case of contact with exposed persons.

Polio is  a viral disease transmitted from person to person through contaminated food and water. The symptoms are normally quite mild with sore throat, stiffness in the limbs and back and neck, cold like symptoms, fever and lethargy. Most people recover, however rare cases can lead to permanent  physical disability or death.

A Polio Vaccination is available at our Travel Clinics in London as a combined vaccination, Revaxis, containing Polio, Tetanus and Diphtheria. It is given by intra muscular injections and immunity lasts for 10 years (following childhood vaccinations).

We advise families to ensure their children are up to date with their national schedule of vaccinations before travelling to these countries.

The global polio eradication initiative aims to eliminate polio world wide by 2018, the website provides interesting information on outbreaks world wide. They note in the most recent weeks Afghanistan and Pakistan have reported new cases. Nigeria and Syria continue to be of concern for new case numbers.