Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 3, March 2010

Poliomyelitis Prevention in travellers

Cora A Mayer Amy A Neilson
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This article is the second in a series providing a summary of prevention strategies and vaccination for infections that may be acquired by travellers. The series aims to provide practical strategies to assist general practitioners in giving travel advice, as a synthesis of multiple information sources which must otherwise be consulted. Poliomyelitis is a potentially fatal viral illness, which may cause acute flaccid paralysis and permanent central nervous system damage. Ongoing global efforts to eradicate poliomyelitis have been under way since 1988. Travellers are at risk of infection in countries with endemic wild poliomyelitis virus or imported cases, and can spread the infection to areas where poliomyelitis has been eradicated. While all adults should be immune to poliomyelitis, it is important that at risk travellers are vaccinated appropriately. Vaccine options and regions currently reporting poliomyelitis are presented from a number of sources, which may facilitate the process of giving travel advice in a general practice setting, although it is also important to seek up-to-date epidemiological information.

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