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By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel notices for Africa and Asia because of polio outbreaks in a number of countries on each continent.

Poliovirus Image/CDC

Polio outbreaks have been reported in the following African countries: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Togo and Zambia.

While in Asia, polio outbreaks have been reported in the following countries: Afghanistan, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Polio cases mount globally: Pakistan, the Philippines and Angola

The World Health Organization recommends that these countries require residents and long-term (4 weeks or more) visitors show proof of polio vaccination before leaving the country.

CDC recommends that all travelers to these countries be vaccinated fully against polio. Before traveling to these countries, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.

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 of an infected person, people infected with the disease can spread it to others when they do not wash their hands well after defecating. 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, and 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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