Key message

If you are travelling overseas don’t run the risk of getting polio – make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, including boosters, before you go.

2019 outbreak of polio in the Philippines

On 14 September 2019 a case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) was confirmed on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. The Philippine Department of Health announced an outbreak of polio in the country on 19 September 2019. Environmental samples genetically linked to this case have also been isolated in Manila and Davao City in 2019.

The Government of the Philippines, supported by partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), are undertaking detailed investigations, enhancing surveillance, strengthening routine immunization and implementing an outbreak response.

2019 outbreak of polio in Papua Province, Indonesia

On 12 February 2019, circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) was confirmed in the Papua Province of Indonesia (Papua Province). While this Indonesian province shares a border with Papua New Guinea, this outbreak is not linked to the outbreak currently affecting Papua New Guinea.

The Indonesian Ministry of Health, supported by WHO, is undertaking contact tracing and testing as well as strengthened disease surveillance and polio vaccination of children in the Papua Province.

2018-19 outbreak of polio in Papua New Guinea

On 22 June 2018, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) notified WHO of an outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus. The outbreak is on-going.

The PNG Government is working with partners, including WHO and UNICEF, to take appropriate outbreak response measures including contact tracing, testing and vaccination.

Polio is very unlikely to spread in Australia because of our high rates of vaccine coverage, good sanitation, and the ability of the health system to respond to cases.

Information for travellers

Travellers to countries with polio outbreaks should check their vaccination records and consult their general practitioner (GP) or travel doctor regarding their vaccination requirements.

Everyone travelling to one of these areas should have completed a three dose course of polio vaccine and had a booster dose – the timing depends on how long ago you were vaccinated and how long you are staying.

Information about travelling to polio outbreak areas is available at:

More information can be found on the WHO Polio outbreaks website and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative website.

Current as at: Monday 9 December 2019
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW