Virus Travels

Health experts call for vigilance against re-emergence of polio in Sri Lanka, in the face of increasing regional tourism traffic. Health experts call for vigilance against re-emergence of polio in Sri Lanka, in the face of increasing regional tourism traffic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday, that Sri Lanka should be vigilant against an outbreak of polio although the island is officially polio free since 1993.

The warning comes after over 200 polio cases emerged suddenly in Indonesia after a lull of 10 years.

“Indonesia was infected by the polio virus this year. Around 235 cases were detected after being polio free for 10 years,” said the WHO regional advisor on immunisation and vaccine for South East Asia, Arun Thapa.

The virus, that can cause paralysis and even death, can cross country borders through travellers and is transmitted via contaminated food and drink.

The polio virus is thought to have re-entered Indonesia through an Indonesian that travelled abroad.

Therefore, given increased regional travel in South East Asia, countries are asked to guard against the virus.