03 Sep 2018
Polio: Public Health Emergency of International ConcernAn update on the polio Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
The eighteenth meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) under International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 was convened on 15 August 2018, to review the data on wild poliovirus (WPV) and circulating vaccine derived polioviruses (cVDPV). The EC agreed that the risk of international spread of poliovirus continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Temporary Recommendations (IHR 2005) to reduce the risk of international spread of poliovirus were extended for a further three months, effective from 27 August 2018 .
The Statement details progress made towards stopping transmission of Wild Polio Virus (WPV). Since the last report (10 May 2018) .
The full Statement of the eighteenth IHR Emergency Committee is available from the World Health Organization is available from the World Health Organization.
IHR Temporary Recommendation categories
(please refer to Country Information pages)
States infected with WPV1, cVDPV1 or cVDPV3 with the potential risk of international spread:
- Papua New Guinea
These countries have a certificate requirement for polio vaccination under IHR (2005).
States infected with cVDPV2, with potential risk of international spread:
- DR Congo*
*There is no certificate requirement under IHR (2005) for these countries. Travellers are, however, encouraged to carry proof of polio vaccination.
States no longer infected by WPV1 or cVDPV, but which remain vulnerable to re-infection by WPV or cVDPV:
- Central African Republic
In addition to the countries detailed in this report, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative highlight the following countries to be no longer polio-virus infected, but at high risk of outbreaks :
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
For these countries, NaTHNaC recommends a booster dose of a polio-containing vaccine for those who have not received a dose within the previous 10 years travelling to these countries see our Country Information pages.
The polio status of countries is reviewed by WHO on a regular basis and polio vaccination recommendations are subject to change.
Advice for travellers
Polio is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, either by exposure to water contaminated by infected human faeces, or by person to person contact. You should practise strict food, water and personal hygiene. Independent of your destination, you should complete a primary vaccination course for polio according to the UK schedule. Travellers are encouraged to carry documentary evidence of their polio vaccination status. An International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis is required by some countries see our Country Information pages for country specific information.
Advice for health professionals
All travellers regardless of destination should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK. See our Country Information pages for country specific recommendations and certificate requirements.
For specific outbreak information, check our Outbreak Surveillance. The polio status of countries is reviewed by WHO on a regular basis and polio vaccination recommendations are subject to change.
- World Health Organization. Statement on the Eighteenth IHR Emergency Committee regarding the international spread of poliovirus. 15 August 2018 [Accessed 3 September 2018]
- World Health Organization. Statement on the Seventeenth IHR Emergency Committee regarding the international spread of poliovirus. 14 February 2018 [Accessed 3 September 2018]
- Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses [Accessed 3 September 2018]
- Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Where we work. [Accessed 3 September 2018]