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International Measures to Stop Spread of Wild Poliovirus (Update)

20 Aug 2015

The sixth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2015) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014-2015, took place on 4 August 2015.

The Committee noted that good progress has been made towards the interruption of wild poliovirus transmission and an overall reduction in international spread of wild poliovirus.

The Committee acknowledged the efforts in Africa to eradicate polio, noting that no cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in Africa for almost one year.

It was also noted, however, that the international spread of wild poliovirus continues. Two new polio exportations from Afghanistan into Pakistan occurred in 2015; the most recent on 6 June 2015. Pakistan's last exportation was on 21 October 2014.

The Committee assessed that the event still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and recommended the extension of the Temporary Recommendations for a further 3 months

Advice for Travellers

Travellers are encouraged to take strict precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.

In addition, in order to comply with the WHO and ECDC recommendations and also to avoid travellers being vaccinated in the polio-infected country, authorities in the UK have made vaccination recommendations.

Please refer to individual country records for further information.

In England, Public Health England and NaTHNaC have issued advice which is different to that in Scotland (please look at NaTHNaC Clinical updates for full details).