30 Years of Pioneering Travel Health


15 May 2017 - International Measures to Stop Spread of Wild Poliovirus (Update)

The 13th meeting of the Emergency CommitteeLink under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2015) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in was convened by the WHO Director General on 24 April 2017.

The Committee agreed that the situation still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and recommended the extension of the Temporary RecommendationsLink for a further three months. The Committee provided the Director General with updated risk categorisations as per information below:

1. States infected with WPV1, cVDPV1 or cVDPV3, with potential risk of international spread:

  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Nigeria

2. States infected with cVDPVs:

  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan

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

  • Cameroon
  • Niger
  • Chad
  • Equatorial Guinea,
  • Central African Republic
  • Ukraine
  • Madagascar
  • Myanmar
  • Guinea
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Advice for Travellers

Travellers should be encouraged to take strict precautions with food, water and personal hygiene.

In addition, in order to comply with the WHOLink and ECDCLink recommendations and also to avoid travellers being vaccinated in the polio-infected country, authorities in the UK have made the following vaccination recommendations.

In Scotland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) advise:

  • Travellers can receive a booster dose of a polio-containing vaccine if they have not had one in the past 12 months and are visiting one of the polio-infected or potentially exporting countries (listed under points 1 and 2 above) for longer than 4 weeks (this advice supersedes the current advice in the Green BookLink).
  • Travellers should acquire this additional dose within 12 months of the date they plan to leave the polio-infected country.
  • Travellers visiting one of these countries for less than 4 weeks should ensure they are up-to-date with routine polio vaccination, including 10 yearly boosters.
  • In addition, all travellers to countries still vulnerable to re-infection by WPV or cVDPV (listed under point 3 above) should ensure they have had a full primary course of poliomyelitis vaccine and be offered a booster if it has been more than 10 years since their last dose.
  • Travellers should carry proof of vaccination. In particular, for Pakistan this should be documented on the standard International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). The ICVP is the 'Yellow Card' normally used for yellow fever vaccination.
  • In Scotland, paper ICVP’s can be obtained from HPS by contacting TRAVAX administration, email your FULL NAME and FULL POSTAL ADDRESS to: electronic copies can be downloaded from WHOLink
  • Please see POLIO FAQ for further clarification.

In England, Public Health England and NaTHNaC have issued advice which is different to that in Scotland (please look at Travel Health Pro Clinical updatesLink for full details).



  • World Health Organisation
  • Polio Global Eradication Initiative
  • Travel Health Pro (NathNaC)

© Health Protection Scotland