Update on international spread of wild poliovirus

11 December 2018

Article: 52/4902

The 19th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2015), regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus (WPV), was convened by World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 27 November 2018.

The committee agreed that the situation still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and recommended the extension of the temporary recommendations for a further three months. The committee provided the Director-General with updated risk categories as shown below.

States infected with WPV1 with potential risk of international spread:

  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Nigeria

States infected with circulating vaccine-derived polio virus (cVDPV):

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Niger
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Somalia

States no longer infected by WPV1 or cVDPV, but which remain vulnerable to re-infection by WPV or cVDPV:

  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Syria

TRAVAX recommends polio vaccination within 10 years for travel to countries where it is three years or less since the last case, for:

  • Guinea
  • Lao People‚Äôs Democratic Republic

In addition, in order to comply with the WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommendations, and also to avoid travellers being vaccinated in the polio-infected country, authorities in the UK have made a range of more detailed recommendations.

Our guidance is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.