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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Member States adopt new plan to combat vaccine-preventable diseases

European Vaccine Action Plan 2015–2020 adopted by 64th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe

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.

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Polio Endgame Strategic Plan

The comprehensive, long-term strategy to deliver a polio-free world by 2018.

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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 will celebrate its 10th year on 20–25 April 2015.

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Key resources

Publications

Enterovirus surveillance guidelines

Information on the principles and practices of adopting enterovirus surveillance to support the Polio Eradication Initiative

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