Polio: guidance, vaccination, data and analysis

The diagnosis, vaccination, management and epidemiology of polio (poliomyelitis).

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious vaccine preventable disease. It is a notifiable disease in England and Wales.

Polio invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours (see acute flaccid paralysis). It can strike at any age but affects mainly children aged under 3 years. Most people infected with the poliovirus have no signs of illness. Symptomless people can spread the infection to thousands of others before the first case of polio paralysis emerges.

See enterovirus infections for further information.

For the latest international news on polio see statements from the World Health Organization (WHO) and news from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNac).


Clinical management

Data collection

Immunisation programme and resources

Published 23 October 2013
Last updated 18 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Acute flaccid paralysis: reporting form'.

  2. Added 'Polio AFP and AFM surveillance: laboratory sample submission'.

  3. Added 'Polio booster campaign resources', 'Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) booster: information for healthcare practitioners', 'Polio vaccination campaign letter' and 'Vaccination strategy for ongoing polio incident: JCVI statement'.

  4. Added 'Polio: detection of VDPV2 in London sewage samples'.

  5. Added link to enterovirus collection and updated WHO link.

  6. Added links to World Health Organisation and acute flaccid paralysis guidance.

  7. Added guidance on the indications polio serological testing.

  8. Adding national polio guidelines to collection.

  9. First published.