Polio is a disease that has been eradicated in Belgium, yet it is still rife in other parts of the world. For as long as the polio virus is in circulation, unvaccinated children, from any country of origin, will run a risk of contracting polio. There is no treatment against polio, vaccination is the only means of prevention.

Clinical and biological diagnosis

Anyone showing symptoms of Acute Flaccid Paralysis should see a doctor.

Initially the doctor will try to rule out the possibility of other diseases that have similar symptoms to those of polio (for example: Guillain-Barré syndrome)

If the symptoms, the context and that patient’s medical history suggest polio, the doctor will take samples that will be analysed to isolate the virus and to detect specific antibodies.  

All of the samples must be sent to the National Reference Centre for polio at the UZ/KU Leuven. 

Sciensano centralises and analyses data related to Acute Flaccid Paralysis and enteroviruses. 

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