7 May 2014

WHO says immunisation best protection against polio

3:12 pm on 7 May 2014

The World Health Organisation says its current internationals warnings on the spread of polio are a timely reminder to immunise children and travellers.

The Director of Combating Communicable Diseases for the Western Pacific says while this region has been free from polio since the year 2000, there is still some risk.

Dr Marc Jacobs says ten countries in central Asia, the Middle East and in Central Africa are currently struggling to cope with polio outbreaks and examples of spread early in the season have prompted the alert.

"Polio is a really horrible disease. For people who were around in the 1950's they'd probably remember the panics that were around as a result of polio. It's really horrible but it's really, really easy to prevent through a very safe and effective vaccine. So it's one of those things where it's just another reminder of the importance of immunisation and making sure that in particular our children are up to date with their immunisations."

WHO's Marc Jacobs.