An increase in reports of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in the United Kingdom, 1 January 2018–21 January 2019

12 February 2019

Article: 53/0604

In October 2018, Public Health England (PHE) observed an increase in routine EV-D68 laboratory detections of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), with a total of 40 cases reported in the UK through 2018. Many of these were reported months after the initial diagnosis. PHE and other UK national public health agencies reminded clinicians of the potential respiratory and neurological associations of EV-D68 infection and the requirements for appropriate microbiological investigations, including exclusion of poliomyelitis.

In November 2018, PHE began to receive reports of AFP. A national task force was established to investigate the apparent increase. The preliminary epidemiological, clinical and microbiological features of cases as at 21 January 2019, have been described in a paper published in Eurosurveillance.

Sources: Eurosurveillance, 7 February 2019 and PHE, 7 February 2019