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Poliomyelitis in Nigeria (Update)

12 Aug 2016

On 11 August 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the Nigerian government has reported two cases of wild poliovirus type one (WPV1). Both cases are children in the northern Borno state, the first case had onset of paralysis 6 July 2016 and the second case on 13 July 2016.

WPV1 has not been detected in Nigeria since July 2014. Genetic sequencing of the isolated viruses suggests they are most closely linked to WPV1 last detected in Borno in 2011, this indicates that the strain has been circulating without detection since that time.

The Nigerian government is mounting a collaborative response with WHO and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, this includes: conducting large-scale immunisation campaigns and strengthening disease surveillance systems. These activities are also being strengthened in neighbouring countries.

Advice for Travellers

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of polio vaccine according to the UK childhood schedule. It is recommended that travellers have a poliomyelitis booster (or course) if not already protected. Travellers should also take precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.