Polio In Africa

Polio in Africa was confined to the region of Nigeria but previously polio-free countries have reported polio outbreaks. According to CDC 2024, hunting countries reporting polio cases include Burkina Faso, Benin, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon, Mozambique, DCR, Zambia and CAR. South Africa remains polio free.

Polio In Africa Map
Red Areas: Where Polio has been detected in Africa - Map CDC 2024

Polio is a serious hazard to unimmunized travellers to developing countries with poor hygiene standards and low immunization rates in local inhabitants.

Polio Facts

  • 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.

Polio Symptoms

  • 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.
  • Adult travellers to Africa who were fully vaccinated during childhood should receive an additional (single) lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.

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Page Updated: Mar 2024

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