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.
Poliomyelitis in Belgium
- vaccination against poliomyelitis has been compulsory since 1967
- the last case of poliomyelitis that was not imported occurred in 1979
- the last case of poliomyelitis that was imported occurred in 1989
- the last case of vaccine-induced poliomyelitis, following administration of an oral vaccine (Oral Polio Vaccine or OPV), was reported in 1999
- since 1989, no cases of poliomyelitis have been reported, either via the PediSurv network or the mandatory declaration system.
- The number of endemic countries has dropped from 125 in 1988 to 2 in 2015 (Afghanistan and Pakistan).
- The number of cases of the poliovirus (linked to the wild virus) recorded on a worldwide scale increased from 223 in 2012 to 416 in 2013. In 2014, there were 359 cases and 74 in 2015 (WHO).
- In 2011, in Western Europe, over 700,000 people were still presenting with long term after-effects linked to polio (AViQ-Sciensano).