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Polio Public Health Emergency:

Temporary Recommendations to Reduce International Spread of Poliovirus

On 5 May 2014 the Director-General declared the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations [IHR 2005], issued Temporary Recommendations to reduce the international spread of wild poliovirus, and requested a reassessment of this situation by the Emergency Committee every 3 months. The third meeting of the Emergency Committee was held in November 2014.

Based on the committee’s advice and the reports made by affected States Parties, the Director-General extended the following Temporary Recommendations under the IHR (2005), effective November 2014. 

At a glance

 Exporting countries*   Recommendations
 Equatorial Guinea   Countries which are currently exporting wild poliovirus should ensure that all residents and long-term visitors (of over 4 weeks) receive a dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between 4 weeks and 12 months before international travel; and should ensure that such travellers are provided with proof of vaccination.

Full recommendations
 Other polio-affected countries*   Recommendations
 Afghanistan   Other polio-affected countries are encouraged to vaccinate residents and long-term visitors before international travel.

Full recommendations

 * These recommendations came into effect from November 2014 and will be reviewed in 3 months

Please send questions to:

Polio-free countries
While there are no specific IHR Temporary Recommendations for travellers from polio free countries, those travelling to polio-affected countries are advised to consult International Travel and Health


Related links

Full WHO statement including the Temporary Recommendations

For travellers: Frequently-asked questions [pdf]
 Translation: FrançaisEspañol | عربي

For countries: WHO Guidance for implementation of the Temporary Recommendations under the IHR (2005)

 Translations: Français


Download the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis

Current global polio case count

International Health Regulations portal (secured-access for national IHR focal points)