18 April 2012
Polio Update– Global situation as of 11 April 2012.
Polio remains endemic in three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan . So far in 2012, there have been 41 reported cases of polio worldwide: 38 in endemic countries and three in Chad, a non-endemic country .
India, formerly an endemic country, has not reported a case of wild polio or detected the virus in environmental samples for more than a year, with the last confirmed case in January 2011 . The World Health Organization (WHO) officially removed India from the list of countries with active transmission of endemic polio on 25 February 2012 .
Polio in endemic countries:
Six cases have been reported in 2012. The most recent case was wild polio type 1 (WPV1) in Kandahar, with onset of paralysis on 14 March. National vaccination days are planned for 22 to 25 April .
Seventeen cases have been reported in 2012. The most recent case, wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3), was reported from Borno, with onset of paralysis on 7 March. National vaccination activities continue . The presence of wild polio in Nigeria increases risk of polio importation to the rest of West Africa. In 2011, several West African countries experienced a resurgence of the virus .
Fifteen cases have been reported so far in 2012. The most recent case, (WPV1) in Khyber, part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), experienced onset of paralysis on 11 March. Pakistan continues to focus on special vaccination strategies aimed at reaching all children under 15 years in the FATA .
Imported polio cases in non-endemic countries:
Chad is the only non-endemic country worldwide to report polio in 2012, with three cases. The most recent case, (WPV1) in Chari Baguirmi, experienced onset of paralysis on 21 February .
A United Nations backed vaccination campaign is targeting 20 African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo .
China, which reported 21 cases in 2011, has not reported further cases since 9 October 2011 .
Advice for travellers:
Polio is transmitted via contaminated food and water. Travellers should practise strict food, water and personal hygiene and complete a primary vaccination course for polio, according to the UK schedule. A history of previous polio infection is not a contraindication to polio vaccination .
NaTHNaC recommends all visitors to countries with current wild poliovirus transmission or countries reporting transmission in the past three years should have a booster dose of a polio-containing vaccine, if they have not received one in the previous 10 years.
Specific recommendations for polio vaccination for each country can be found on the NaTHNaC Country Information Pages.
Further details on the global polio situation can be found on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and World Health Organization websites. More information on polio can be found on the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on polio.
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6. Contraindications and special considerations. In; Salisbury D, Ramsay M, Noakes K (Eds). Immunisation against infectious disease 2006. The Stationary Office, London. Ch 6. [Accessed 18 April 2012]. Available at: