The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a travel advisory for Asia and Eastern Europe regarding polio outbreaks.
On March 16, 2022, the CDC Level 2Practice Enhanced Precautions, Alert said: “The following destinations are currently considered at high risk for polio outbreaks: Afghanistan, areas of Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Yemen.
Previously, the CDC had issued a travel advisory for several destinations in Africa currently considered at high risk for poliomyelitis.
Additionally, the World Health Organization announced on March 11, 2021 that “The risk of international spread of poliovirus remains a public health emergency of international concern.”
This map (updated March 15) shows the latest number of WPV1 and cVDPV polio cases in each affected country.
The good news is that poliomyelitis can be prevented through vaccination.
However, most travel vaccines – including polio – should be given at least a month before departure to ensure maximum protection.
“Before traveling to a high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who have already completed the full series of routine polio vaccines receive a single, lifetime booster dose.”
Specifically, adult travelers who have already completed the full course of routine polio vaccines or who have not yet received an adult booster dose and who are traveling to one of the destinations listed above should receive one dose reminder.
Even people who have had polio before may need a booster dose of polio vaccine.
A listing polio vaccines is posted on this web page.
Poliomyelitis is a debilitating and potentially fatal disease that affects the nervous system.
Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, stiff neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs. In rare cases, poliomyelitis infection leads to permanent loss of muscle function.
Polio can be deadly if the muscles used for breathing are paralyzed or if there is an infection in the brain, says the CDC.
More travel news on the polio outbreak is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/polio.
Note: These CDC notices have been edited for clarity and organized for mobile readers.