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Poliomyelitis in Afghanistan (Update 1)

14 Aug 2017

A new positive environmental sample of vaccine-derived poliovirus was collected on 7 July 2017 in Lashkargah in Helmand Province.

The number of cases of polio (WPV1) this year remains at 5, with the most recent case having onset of paralysis on 19 June 2017.

Advice for Travellers

Polio is spread mainly through person to person contact via the faecal-oral route. Particularly in areas where sanitation is poor therefore travellers should be encouraged to take strict precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.

Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary course of a polio containing vaccine and be offered a booster if it has been more than 10 years since their last dose. Additionally, travellers visiting this country for longer than 4 weeks should discuss with their travel health adviser whether it is necessary to receive a booster if they have not had one in the past 12 months. They should carry proof with them of when they last had this vaccination.

For further information see Poliomyelitis.