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Poliovirus identified in Somalia and Kenya
Thursday, June 06, 2013

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The CDC has reported four cases of wild poliovirus in Somalia in May, the first cases in the country since 2007.

Two cases also were reported in Dadaab, Kenya, the first since July 2011. Dadaab hosts a major refugee camp that houses more than 500,000 people from the Horn of Africa, including Somalia. Other countries in the Horn of Africa are at risk in this outbreak because of widespread population movements and immunity gaps.

CDC recommends that all travelers to Somalia and Kenya, as well as the surrounding countries — Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania — be fully vaccinated against polio. Adults are also recommended to receive a one-time booster dose.

In addition, WHO has reported that wild poliovirus type 1 was identified in sewage samples in Rahat, Israel. Polio in humans in this area has not been reported. Health authorities are conducting an investigation. According to WHO, risk for international spread of the virus from this location is low because there are high levels of population immunity.

According to WHO, only Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan remain endemic for transmission of polio.

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