Polio in Botswana
09 Feb 2023
On 2 February 2023, the World Health Organization reported poliovirus has been detected in Botswana. The virus is thought to have spread from an ongoing outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Advice for Travellers
Polio is a serious infection caused by the poliovirus. The virus lives in an infected person’s throat and intestines. It enters the body through the mouth and spreads through:
- contact with the poo from an infected person
- droplets from a cough or sneeze from an infected person, this is less common
You can become infected if you:
- have poo on your hands and you touch your mouth
- put objects in your mouth that are contaminated with the infected poo
- consume food and water that has been contaminated with the poo from an infected person
You should consider having a booster dose of polio vaccine if it has been more than 10 years since your last booster and you are travelling to a country where polio remains a problem.
- If you are visiting this country for longer than 4 weeks, you may be advised to have a booster dose of a polio-containing vaccine if you have not had one in the past 12 months.
- You should carry proof of having had this vaccination.
- Please speak to a travel health professional to discuss.
For further information see the fitfortravel Botswana country page and Poliomyelitis page.