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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Public health lab professionals in Turkmenistan trained in biosafety and biosecurity

Professionals from public health laboratories in Turkmenistan have recently received training in biosafety and biosecurity to avoid accidental or deliberate spread of diseases.

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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Key resources


Immunization Highlights 2013

Overview of activities and priorities of the Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme

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