Polio In Africa
Polio in Africa was confined to the region of Nigeria but since January 2008, previously polio-free countries have reported imported polio strains. Hunting countries now reporting polio cases include Burkina Faso, Benin, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon and CAR. Botswana reported its first new polio infection in February 2009.
South Africa remains polio free.
The darker the colour, the more prevalent the disease
Polio is a serious hazard to unimmunized travellers to developing countries with poor hygiene standards and low immunization rates in local inhabitants.
- Polio is caused by a virus.
- It is spread from person to person via nose or throat mucus or faecal contamination of food or drink.
- Initial non-specific fever, headache, muscle pain including neck stiffness.
- There maybe a short symptom-free interval before muscle pains return and paralysis develops.
- Paralysis may be limited to a single limb or may spread to involve the whole body.
Summary For African Travellers and Hunters
- Make sure your polio vaccination is up-to-date and be aware of good hygiene practices.
- Traveller's who have been fully immunized in the past need only a single booster of oral polio vaccine every 10 years.
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