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Published On: Thu, Oct 29th, 2015

Polio in Laos: CDC recommends travelers be fully vaccinated

Earlier this month, health authorities in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) reported on a case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) in a child from the district of Bolikhan, in Bolikhamxay Province.

CDC/ Dr. Fred Murphy, Sylvia Whitfield

CDC/ Dr. Fred Murphy, Sylvia Whitfield

Lao’s last case of indigenous wild poliovirus was reported in 1993.

This has prompted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials to issue a travel notice for people going to the southeast Asian country.

CDC recommends that all travelers to Laos be fully vaccinated against polio. In addition, adults who have been fully vaccinated should receive a single lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.

Ask your doctor or nurse to find out if you are up-to-date with your polio vaccination and whether you need a booster dose before traveling, federal health officials suggest. Even if you were vaccinated as a child or have been sick with polio before, you may need a booster dose to make sure that you are protected.

Polio is a disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system and is mainly spread by person-to-person contact. Polio can also be spread by drinking water or other drinks or eating raw or undercooked food that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

Most people with polio do not feel sick. Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs. Most people recover completely. In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function in the arms or legs (usually the legs); if there is loss of function of the muscles used for breathing or infection of the brain, death can occur.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show on http://1380thebiz.com/ Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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