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Polio in Malaysia (Sabah, Borneo)

10 Dec 2019

Media quoting the Malaysian Health Minister report a three year old child has been diagnosed with polio in Tuaran, Sabah on the island of Borneo. The World Health Organisation’s Regional Polio Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia confirmed the infection after tests on 6 December after the child developed fever and paralysis.

Polio is not normally present in Malaysia and laboratory results indicate a link to a polio virus circulating recently in the Philipines. However, the source of infection in Malaysia has not been identified.

Advice for Travellers

The World Health Organisation recommends that "all travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel."

Travellers to polio-affected areas should be offered a booster of poliomyelitis vaccine if it has been more than 10 years since their last dose.

For further information see Poliomyelitis.