What is polio?
Polio is a severe infectious disease that can causes temporary and permanent paralysis. Polio, which is an airborne disease is spread when infected people cough and breathing on other people. It is unfortunately making a comeback in some parts of the world including India, Uganda, Nigeria and Pakistan. It is important for travellers to make sure that they are up to date with their vaccination schedule and have boosters when required.
Polio is given as part of the combined Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio vaccination:
Where is polio found?
Polio is now very rare in the UK but there are still risks to travellers in South Asia and Africa. Recent studies show that the infection is very common in developing and war torn countries such as Somalia and Congo since there are no programs that facilitate for vaccination during early childhood.
How is polio spread?
Polio is highly contagious and is spread through contact with infected people or contaminated objects and surfaces.
When to get polio jabs?
All children in the UK will be offered the polio vaccination as part of the childhood vaccination program. People that are travelling to high risk areas that have not had the vaccination as a child or have not had a polio booster in the previous ten years are advised the have the vaccination.
Is the polio Vaccine Suitable for Me?
The vaccine is suitable for virtually every one and should be administered at infancy or in cases of out breaks so as to reduce the spread of the disease. Adults and teenagers that have not received the polio vaccine should start with the immunisation series as soon as possible. Polio affects people of all ages, not just children.
Further Travel Health Advice
As a precaution to protect yourself against polio; when there is an outbreak or when you are in a country that faces major outbreaks, avoid the use of public facilities such as swimming pools. In addition to this always maintain high levels of hygiene.
Tetanus Diphtheria Polio Vaccination Facts and Figures
- Vaccine name – Revaxis Disease: Tetanus, Diptheria and Polio (not available in individual doses)
- Property – Combined inactivated vaccine
- Administration – By injection, intra muscular (deltoid)
- Dose – 0.5ml pre-filled syringe
- Course – One injection
- Booster – 10 years
- Side effects: local reaction, pain, redness, inflammation, flu like symptoms, GI disturbances.
February 2014: Polio Outbreak East Africa
August 2013: Polio Outbreak in Kenya
May 2013: Polio Cases in Kenya