Poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease, which invades the nervous system and can cause life-long paralysis. In June 2002, all 53 countries in the WHO European Region were certified polio free. A sustained effort of immunization and disease surveillance helps maintain the Region’s polio-free status and ensures that no polio case can be left undetected.

Maintaining the Region's polio-free status

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World Polio Day marks a major milestone towards polio eradication

The independent Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) has declared wild poliovirus type 3 to be globally eradicated. Announced today on World Polio Day, this is a major milestone in the global effort to rid the world of all poliovirus strains and ensure that no child will ever again be paralysed by any poliovirus anywhere.

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Video: Polio eradication: making history together

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Polio Endgame Strategy

The comprehensive, long-term strategy to deliver a polio-free world.

Step-by-step eradication of polio

Data and statistics

1 in 200

infections with poliovirus leads to irreversible paralysis. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.

More data and statistics

Vaccine safety communication library

Guidance on how to communicate about safety

European Immunization Week

Each year in April, EIW promotes the core message that the immunization of every child is vital to prevent diseases and protect life. The goal of the region-wide campaign is to increase vaccination coverage by raising awareness of the importance of immunization. EIW 2019 took place on 24-30 April 2019.

This year's campaign

Key resources

  • CISID

    WHO/Europe infectious disease data set, compiled from reports submitted by Member States

  • WHO EpiBrief and EpiData

    Summary and analysis of data on selected vaccine-preventable diseases

  • Polio laboratory data management system

    Information and resources for the Regional Polio Lab Network

  • CISID

    WHO/Europe infectious disease data set, compiled from reports submitted by Member States

  • Immunization Resource Centre

    Documents designed to assist health professionals in their day-to-day work as it relates to immunization

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