Recent Increase in Polio Cases Around the World

polioThere has still not been a new case of polio acquired in the United States since 1979.  Up until recently, there were just 4 countries in the world where polio had been known to be transmitted: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Nigeria.  Cameroon and Syria have now been added to Pakistan as exporting wild polio virus, and Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, and Israel have new cases “infected” with polio virus. 

Anyone staying in any of the polio-affected countries for more than four weeks may be required to have a polio booster shot within the 4 weeks to twelve months prior to departure from that country. The CDC Health Advisory that outlines the polio vaccination guidance for international travel is attached.

CDC Polio Eradication and Health Advisory

Oregon Health Authority Polio Website

 I would add that if you are traveling to any of these countries and your child’s polio vaccine status is not up to date, it would be worth getting your child caught up on their polio vaccine.  Because of international travel, it would be wise to get polio protection for any extended travel outside of the America’s. 


Dr. Paul

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