Sierra Leone

Status: no longer poliovirus-infected, but at high risk of outbreaks

West Africa remains at particular risk of poliovirus.

Detection of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in 2016 in north-eastern Nigeria means the entire region is currently at risk.  Additionally, parts of West Africa (Guinea), are affected by an ongoing outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2).

Sierra Leone has subnational vaccination coverage gaps.  This means that children are particularly vulnerable to diseases such as polio. Efforts are underway to strengthen both immunity levels and disease surveillance, to minimise the risk and consequences of a potential re-infection or re-emergence of poliovirus.

WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio.

Residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel.

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Key at-risk: no longer poliovirus-infected, but at high risk of outbreaks
Outbreak: has stopped indigenous WPV circulation but affected by outbreak of imported WPV or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus
Endemic: has never stopped indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) circulation