CDC reports polio outbreak in Somalia and Kenya

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported two recent polio outbreaks on Friday in Somalia and Kenya and is recommending that international travelers complete polio vaccination prior to travel.

On May 9, the World Health Organization and the Somalia Ministry of Health reported a confirmed wild poliovirus type I case in a 32-month-old girl in Mogadishu, Somalia. The girl experienced acute flaccid paralysis on April 18. There were eight additional WPV1 cases confirmed in Somalia, representing the first reported cases in Somalia since March 2007.

On May 16, the WHO and the Kenya Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation confirmed a WPV1 case with onset AFP on April 30 in a four-month-old girl near the Somalia border in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camps. There were four additional cases confirmed in the camps. The polio cases were the first reported in Kenya since July 2011.

The isolates of the virus were closely related to each other and to WPV1 strains currently circulating in West Africa.

Rapid response polio supplementary immunization activities were conducted in Somalia and Kenya in regions near the reported cases.

The CDC recommends that all international travelers complete polio vaccination before traveling and that all travelers with designated polio risk receive an additional polio vaccine booster dose. Countries with polio risk include Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

As of June 11, there were 50 polio cases reported globally in 2013, down from 67 cases reported during the same time period last year.