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FAQ

Does polio still exist?

Page last updated 09 April 2020

In Australia, the last two epidemics were in 1956 and 1961 to 1962. Following the introduction of polio vaccine in the 1950s, the last case of locally acquired polio in Australia was in 1972. Australia was declared polio free in 2000.

However, polio does still exist in other parts of the world and cases continue to be reported in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. However, reported cases of polio have been dramatically reduced worldwide through an intensified Global Polio Eradication Initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As there is no cure for polio, the Australian Government recommends that Australians travelling to countries where polio is considered a risk, are up-to-date with recommended vaccinations against polio, including a booster, prior to departure.
 

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Sources & Citations

1.    Australian Government. Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook – Poliomyelitis. Available at: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccine-preventable-diseases/poliomyelitis (accessed 18 March 2020).
2.    World Health Organization. Poliomyelitis factsheet. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/poliomyelitis (accessed 18 March 2020).
4    Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Polio and post-polio syndrome. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/polio-and-post-polio-syndrome (accessed 18 March 2020).
6.    Souza RM et al. Commun Dis Intell 2002;26:253–260.

SPANZ.IPV.18.04.0155(1)a - Date of preparation March 2020

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