- Travel Health Notice: Polio: Advice for travellers
Polio is a very contagious infection that is caused by the poliovirus. Thanks to immunization, Canada has been polio free for the last 20 years. But before the polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, thousands of Canadian children were affected.
Polio crippled tens of thousands of Canadians until the vaccine was introduced. It used to be called "infantile paralysis" or "the crippler"; because it could permanently damage nerve cells that control muscles.
Since there is no cure for polio, prevention is very important. The polio vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent polio and keep it from coming back to Canada. It is free and available to all Canadians.
On May 5, the World Health Organization declared the recent international spread of polio a public health emergency of international concern.
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