Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates

Check out What's New on the Expat Web Site
Information for foreigners moving to Indonesia

Home » Practical Information » Health and Medical Concerns

Polio

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Translate this Page

Bookmark and Share
Links to hundreds of articles giving practical information for expats moving to Indonesia
Post your questions or communicate with other expats in Indonesia on the Expat Forum
Looking for a place to stay in Indonesia - check out the Housing Forum
Looking for a weekend or holiday getaway ... visit some of Indonesia's Great Escapes
Advice and resources for conducting business in Indonesia
Info on expatriate community organizations in Indonesia
Shops, Products and Services
Links to other useful Indonesian or expat-related web sites
Expat Humor - spread the joys of Living in Indonesia through e-postcards
Site Map
Return to the Home Page
expatriate information for Indonesia

Background

Although the polio virus was eliminated from the Americas in 1994, the disease still circulates in Asia and Africa, paralyzing the world’s most vulnerable children. In a continually shrinking world polio, like many other vaccine-preventable diseases, remains only a plane ride away. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative started in 1988. That year, an estimated 350,000 children were paralyzed with polio worldwide. In 2004, polio cases had fallen to just over 1,200 cases globally.

Polio is transmitted through the fecal-oral route, although there is some evidence that oral-to-oral transmission is possible. The virus is killed by regular household disinfectants and standard hygiene protocols can prevent transmission. The virus affects the nervous system of a patient, and can lead to a flaccid paralysis of the legs while sensation remains intact.

Recent cases in Indonesia

There were several confirmed cases of “wild” polio in Indonesia in the Sukabumi area of West Java in 2005. All patients were children from poor social backgrounds who did not start or complete a vaccination series as recommended by the WHO.

Polio vaccination

The vaccination against polio started in 1955 with the oral vaccine developed by Jonas Salk and his team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh. From there, the next development was a trivalent vaccine effective against all known strains of polio, and in 1987 an injectable vaccine was introduced. Although rare, vaccination-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) was a side effect occurring in 5-10 cases annually during the period of exclusive oral vaccination. This includes adults over the age of 18, who were at a higher risk of VAPP than small children.

Recommendations

Independent of any cases of polio in the country, every child and adult in Indonesia should receive a full series of four vaccinations against polio. A person who did not complete the regimen is advised to do so at their earliest convenience, as it is not necessary to repeat the whole series if only one injection had been missed. An incomplete oral vaccination schedule (OPV) can be completed by injection (IPV).

Booster vaccination of adults or children who have already completed a full series of injections in the past is not recommended. It is recommended to use the injectable vaccine for any new full vaccination of adults and children. The minimum time between injections must be four weeks, though a rapid two month schedule is recommended for the first three injections. Adults should follow the 0/1/2 month schedule with a further booster sometime after one year.

Additional info on Polio from the US Center for Disease Control

If you have any further questions about medical concerns in Indonesia, see the Ask the Experts.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

Our appreciation to Hill and Associates for passing along this update from Dr. Uwe Stocker of International SOS, an AEA Company, who has contributed this article in response to a growing health concern in Indonesia.

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Practical Information |  Expat Forum |  Site Map  |  Search |  Home Page |  Contact


Return to top

Copyright © 1997-2017, Expat Web Site Association Jakarta, Indonesia http://www.expat.or.id All rights reserved. The information on Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates may not be retransmitted or reproduced in any form without permission. This information has been compiled from sources which we, the Expat Web Site Association and volunteers related to this site, believe to be reliable. While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and up-to-date, opinions and commentary are fair and reasonable, we accept no responsibility for them. The information contained does not make any recommendation upon which you can rely without further personal consideration and is not an offer or a solicitation to buy any products or services from us. Opinions and statements constitute the judgment of the contributors to this web site at the time the information was written and may change without notice.