By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel alert this week due to polio outbreaks in several countries in Asia.

Image/CDC

Polio outbreaks have been reported in the following Asian countries: Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), China, Malaysia, Pakistan, The Philippines, Tajikistan and Yemen.

CDC recommends that all travelers to the countries listed above be vaccinated fully against polio. Adults who were fully vaccinated during childhood should receive an additional (single) lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine. Even if you were vaccinated as a child or have been sick with polio before, you may need a booster dose to make sure you are protected.

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that affects the nervous system. Good hand washing practices can help prevent the spread of this disease. Because the virus lives in the feces (poop) of an infected person, people infected with the virus can spread it to others when they do not wash their hands well after defecating (pooping). People can also be infected if they drink water or eat food contaminated with infected feces.

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, or pain in the arms and legs. In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function (paralysis). Polio can be fatal if the muscles used for breathing are paralyzed or if there is an infection of the brain.


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