The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Health Alert


Polio in Somalia

Updated October 20, 2014

Updated: October 09, 2014

Nearby Polio Outbreaks:

What is the current situation?

According to the Global Polio Eradication InitiativeExternal Web Site Icon, as of August 11, 2014, 5 cases have been reported in Somalia for 2014. In 2013, 194 cases of polio were reported from Somalia. These are the first wild poliovirus cases reported in Somalia since 2007.

CDC recommends that all travelers to Somalia be fully vaccinated against polio. In addition, adults who have been fully vaccinated should receive a single lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine. As of May 5, 2014, people of all ages staying in Somalia for longer than 4 weeks may be required to show proof of polio vaccination when departing Somalia. Polio vaccine must be received between 4 weeks and 12 months before the date of departure from Somalia and should be officially documented on a yellow vaccination card (International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis). Travelers should talk to their doctor about making sure they are properly prepared for any requirements they may face exiting Somalia.

Because of the risk of cross-border transmission, CDC recommends a single lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine for fully vaccinated adults who are traveling to Djibouti, Kenya, and Yemen to work in health care facilities, refugee camps, or other humanitarian aid settings. This kind of work might put people in contact with someone who has polio.