Successful introduction of routine vaccination in the UK during the mid-1950s means cases of Polio are a lot less prevalent now, however, it’s important to ensure you and your children remain fully vaccinated against it if travelling to Central Africa, Asia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Polio is spread through person-to-person contact, more so in situations of poor hygiene and sanitation. The virus can be spread when food or drink is contaminated by faeces. Only drink bottled/boiled water and eat freshly cooked, piping hot food. Cold, uncooked food (with the exception of fruit that can be peeled), and sources of tap water e.g. ice, salads etc. must be avoided.
Whilst most affected individuals remain asymptomatic until fighting the infection off, a small number will develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, vomiting and fatigue up to three weeks after they’re infected. In a minority of cases the virus attacks nerve cells resulting in temporary or permanent paralysis.
• Course: Several doses if it’s your first jab, or alternatively, just one single booster if vaccinated previously; this vaccine protects you for 10 years.
• When to get vaccinated: Ideally two weeks prior to travel.
• Side effects: Possible mild side effects include soreness at the injection site and/or feeling unwell.
• Children: Vaccine available for children aged 10 or above, however, we only vaccinate children aged 12 years and older.