Poliomyelitis Prevention and Management

Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ are currently raising awareness of the importance of prevention and detection of poliomyelitis. Throughout 2022 several cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus were identified in regions where polio is not usually seen including the US, Europe and Indonesia.

Suboptimal rates of polio vaccination in Aotearoa means our population is currently more susceptible to a significant outbreak than previously. Clinicians are asked to encourage polio vaccination to anyone who is not already fully vaccinated, especially children and those travelling overseas. Clinicians should also consider a diagnosis of poliomyelitis in any child or adult presenting with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). Possible cases should be isolated and Public Health notified without waiting for lab results to confirm the diagnosis.

Additional information is available on this Te Whatu Ora update to clinicians and on the Manatū Hauora Poliomyelitis webpage.