What you need to know about Poliomyelitis (Polio)

poliomyelitis most commonly referred to as Polio is a serious infection caused by a virus.

It is spread through contact with human stools, contaminated food and water, or person-to-person contact. Initially, infection of the gut can spread to the spinal cord or brain where it can cause paralysis.

The World Health Organisation is making great efforts to encourage widespread use of polio vaccine in an attempt to eradicate polio from all the countries of the world.

However, until the disease is certified as eradicated, the risk of acquiring it remains.

Past immunisation from Polio does not always give complete protection as there are three strains of the virus and so travellers should ensure they are up to date with their Polio immunisation.

To ensure further protection try to avoid crowded places in high risk areas as much as possible.

High-risk areas

High-risk areas for Polio include several countries in Africa and the Indian subcontinent, in particular:

  • Afghanistan
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Pain in the limbs

In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent.

The vaccine

The Polio vaccine is usually combined with other vaccines, such as Diphtheria and Tetanus (Revaxis). Children aged under 10 will receive their Polio vaccine as part of the childhood vaccination programme.

Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary course of vaccine and receive a booster every 10 years if they are travelling to an area where Diphtheria, Tetanus or Polio are considered high risk.

Our travel specialist can advise you on your requirements based on your itinerary, past history and time to travel.


VaccinationDosesSchedule and ValidityPrice*
Diphtheria Tetanus Polio (Revaxis)1Immunity – 10 years£35.00
*Price per dose. Please see the dosage to calculate the overall cost.
*Prices are subject to change please contact us for the latest pricing.