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Poliomyelitis in Kenya

24 May 2013

A new case of poliomyelitis has been reported from a refugee camp in Dadaab, north-eastern Kenya, with onset of paralysis on 30 April. It is the first case of wild poliovirus (WPV) in Kenya since July 2011, and it follows recent confirmation of a WPV1 case from Somalia (onset of paralysis 18 April).

The case is a four-month-old girl and two healthy contacts of the child tested positive for WPV1. Dadaab hosts several large refugee camps, housing nearly 500,000 people from across the Horn of Africa, including from Somalia.
An emergency outbreak response is being planned, to reach nearly 440,000 children aged less than 15 years across Dadaab, beginning on 26 May. Further campaigns are planned across a wider area, including parts of Nairobi, on 9 June, followed by large-scale subnational immunization days (SNIDs) in late June 2013.

Advice for Travellers

It is recommended that travellers have a poliomyelitis booster (or course) if not already protected and take precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.