Polio

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system.1,2  Polio still exists in some developing areas such as the Indian subcontinent, parts of the Middle East and Africa, so travellers still need to ensure they are protected through vaccination.2  Infection with the polio virus may affect the central nervous system and result in permanent paralysis.1

Unvaccinated travellers of any age who visit countries where polio still occurs are at risk of contracting the disease.1  Infected travellers may also bring the disease back to New Zealand, placing other unprotected individuals at risk.1,2

In order to keep New Zealand polio free health authorities recommend that travellers (including children), particularly those going to Africa, Middle East or the Indian subcontinent should be vaccinated against polio, and that adult travellers should have a booster every 10 years.2  Travellers should be up-to-date with the current standard vaccinations for their age.2  Each time you plan to travel, see your doctor or travel medicine specialist at least 6-8 weeks before you leave 4 to check if you are adequately protected against polio. 

Polio FAQs

  • Polio - What is it?

    Poliomyelitis (polio) is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system.1,2  Due to successful global vaccination programmes polio has been eradicated from some countries, including New Zealand2 and has dramatically reduced worldwide.1  Polio still exists in some developing areas such as the Indian subcontinent, parts of the Middle East and Africa, so travellers still need to ensure they are protected through vaccination.2  Infection with the polio virus may affect the central nervous system and result in permanent paralysis.1

  • Polio - How is it spread?

    People who are not vaccinated can contract polio directly from an infected person, or by consuming food or drinks that have been contaminated with human waste (faeces) from an infected person.1  The incubation period for poliomyelitis is commonly 7–14 days.2  An infected person may be most contagious from a few days before to a few days after symptoms begin to show.2

  • Polio - Who is at risk?

    Unvaccinated travellers of any age who visit countries where polio still occurs are at risk of contracting the disease.1  Infected travellers may also bring the disease back to New Zealand, placing other unprotected individuals at risk.1,2

  • Polio - What are the symptoms?

    Symptoms are not always obvious in those who get infected. If symptoms do occur, they usually develop 3-21 days after catching the virus2. Symptoms can include: 2

    • headache
    • general aches and pains in the arms and legs
    • stiffness of the neck and back

    One of the most severe complications of polio infection is permanent paralysis.1,2

     

  • Polio - How can it be prevented?

    In order to keep New Zealand polio free health authorities recommend that travellers (including children), particularly those going to Africa, Middle East or the Indian subcontinent should be vaccinated against polio, and that adult travellers should have a booster every 10 years.2  Travellers should be up-to-date with the current standard vaccinations for their age.2  Each time you plan to travel, see your doctor or travel medicine specialist at least 6-8 weeks before you leave 4 to check if you are adequately protected against polio. 

? Did you know

A Quick Question…

You are leaving the GlaxoSmithKline New Zealand website.

Links to other websites are inserted for your convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. Any information provided by this source should be discussed with your healthcare professional and does not replace their advice.

Downloading App Data

Please wait while, the cache is populated

0%