Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance
HSE, Health Protection Surveillance Centre
To provide information on children aged less than 15 years of age presenting to Irish hospitals with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). This information is used to ensure that all AFP cases in children are adequately investigated and to rule out polio as a cause of the paralysis — this is in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that all countries should heighten surveillance to ensure that no polio cases are undetected.
Children aged less than 15 years of age from all regions of the country.
HPSC communicates regularly with each paediatric hospital/unit to request and remind clinicians on the need to report all AFP cases in children aged less than 15 years of age. The completed forms are sent to HPSC. Anonymised copies are then subsequently forwarded to the NVRL.
HPSC collates the data each year and reports to the National Polio Elimination Committee. A report is also provided on the HPSC website and in the Epi-Insight monthly newsletter issued by the HPSC.
Case-based data (anonymised) with clinical details of onset of paralysis, part of body affected, laboratory and radiological tests undertaken and results, polio vaccination history and outcome.
Paediatric neurologists from hospitals around the country.
The data is collected on a form and faxed to HPSC where it is entered into an Access database.
Not in use
Approximately between six and eight records created on average annually.
Annual summary figures are published on the HPSC website
Data requests can be submitted via email@example.com and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
AFP data in children aged less than 15 years of age is voluntary. It is estimated that there should be about 10–11 cases of AFP occurring in children aged less than 15 years of age each year. Under-reporting is likely in view of the normal reporting rate of between six and eight cases per year.