Health professionals are urging parents to ensure their children are appropriately immunised before embarking on their holidays abroad.
The World Health Organisation has recently reported an increased number of polio cases in some countries such as Pakistan and a child who has not been vaccinated against polio can contract the disease while travelling in a foreign country during the summer holidays.
Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect children from serious illnesses like polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps or rubella.
In the UK the polio vaccine is given as part of a vaccine, DTaP/IPV/Hib, which in addition to polio, also protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and Haemophilus influenzae infection.
Muriel Scott, Director of Public Health, Milton Keynes Council is encouraging parents to ensure that their children have received all the vaccines appropriate for their age: “Vaccines are the best way to protect children from potentially serious childhood diseases like polio.
“Some countries have high rates of polio and so, your child may catch the disease if they are travelling to one of these countries and have not been vaccinated.”
Janet Corbett, Chief Pharmacist of Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group has also stressed the importance of children across Milton Keynes being appropriately immunised from diseases such as polio before their summer holidays abroad.
She said: “Whenever you and your family are travelling abroad it is wise to check with the practice nurse at your GP surgery to make sure you are up to date with all the injections you need.”
Further information and a complete schedule of routine childhood vaccinations taking place in Milton Keynes and across the UK can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations.