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Poliomyelitis - important to ensure all children are vaccinated


The Indonesian health authorities have recently confirmed 6 additional polio cases in the country, bringing the total infected to 14.
All these cases are all from the same area in Indonesia. 11 are from the same village (Sukabumi district) and 3 are from neighbouring villages (Lebak and Bogor districts). The 14 cases are all young children.
The Ministry of Health would like to assure the public that the risk of being infected by polio in Singapore remains very low, due to the high levels of poliomyelitis immunization in our community. Singapore has not had a local case of polio since 1973.
Ministry's Advice
Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease affecting mainly infants and young children. More than 90% infections are asymptomatic, while 4 - 8% present with common symptoms like fever, headache and loss of appetite or sore throat. Paralysis occurs in less than 1% of infections.
The best protection against polio is to be vaccinated. In Singapore, infants are immunised against polio at age three, four and five months with booster doses given at 18 months of age, and in Primary One and Six. The polio vaccine is available at polyclinics, GPs, as well as travelers clinics.
MOH strongly encourages parents to ensure that their children have completed their vaccinations against polio. If this is not the case, "catch-up" immunisation should be arranged with their family doctors or at the polyclinics as soon as possible. If in doubt, consult the doctor for advice on whether your child requires immunization.
As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Health also recommends that people traveling to countries with reported polio cases check their personal immunisation records prior to travel if they are traveling to affected areas. If in doubt, they should consult their doctors regarding the need for vaccination.
Polio is spread mainly via the faecal-oral route. Travelers to affected areas should also continue to observe good personal and food hygiene practices. For more information, please see the FAQs on polio on the MOH website.

Source: Press Release 27 May 2005



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29 May 2005