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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Poliomyelitis in Afghanistan (Update 2)

13 Oct 2017

On 11 October the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported two new wild poliovirus 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples.  One sample was collected on 23 September from Jalalabad district, Nangarhar province, and the other on 24 September from Behsud district, also located in Nangarhar province.

The total number of WPV1 cases for 2017 is currently six. The most recent case in the country had onset of paralysis on 10 July, from Zabul province, neighbouring Kandahar province and Pakistan.

An advance notification of a WPV1 case, received from Batikot district in Nangarhar Province (paralysis onset on 15-Sep-2017), is likely to raise the case count to 7 in the coming days.

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.