The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a level two alert for people travelling to countries with polio outbreaks, including Pakistan.
It also extends to other Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.
The CDC recommends travellers practice enhanced precautions such as getting the polio vaccine. “Before traveling to these countries, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.”
When visiting one of the higher polio risk countries, it tells travellers they may be required by the country’s government to show proof of polio vaccination on their yellow International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (IVCP).
For travellers going to countries with circulating poliovirus who have completed their routine polio vaccine series but who have not already received an adult booster dose, the CDC recommends administering an inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) booster dose.
After the recent polio outbreaks in Pakistan, the WHO had imposed travel restrictions on the country. People travelling internationally also need to show proof of vaccination before departure.
The total number of polio cases in Pakistan has now reached 134. A special response campaign is planned from January 13, according to the National Emergency Operations Centre.
This will be followed up by two national immunisation days in February and April with targeted case response in between.