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Polio in Tanzania

25 Jul 2023

On 19 July 2023, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported one case of polio from Rukwa region of Tanzania, making it the first of this strain of polio virus in the country. 

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

It is important to practice safe hand hygiene and food and water precautions during travel to reduce your risk of exposure to polio virus.

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.

For further information see the fitfortravel Tanzania country page and Poliomyelitis page.