Poliovirus Containment

Updated January 9, 2023

Check to see if you may have poliovirus potentially infectious materials

Throughout the United States, there are facilities with poliovirus and materials potentially infectious for poliovirus (samples collected at a place and time where poliovirus was circulating). These facilities may include:

  • Academic institutions
  • Clinical and federal laboratories
  • Environmental testing laboratories
  • Biotechnology companies

Putting containment measures into effect will minimize the risk of the virus getting out into the environment and causing harm to our communities. Although the U.S. has high population immunity (high polio vaccine levels) and quality hygiene standards that significantly lower risk of infection, the possibility of reintroduction of the virus into communities exists worldwide; however, that risk can be kept low.

The U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus, located within CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response, has three main objectives.

  1. Conduct a national survey to identify all facilities working with poliovirus and materials potentially infectious for poliovirus (known as PIM). Materials are considered potentially infectious based on where and when the samples were collected, not based on test results.
  2. Follow up with facilities that report poliovirus and PIM to make sure they know about the Global Action Plan to contain poliovirus within facilities. These facilities are encouraged to destroy unneeded materials; for any materials that are still needed, facilities need to prepare to implement containment measures for eradicated polioviruses recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  3. Audits by U.S. NAC of facilities that intend to store eradicated poliovirus and to certify them as poliovirus-essential facilities (PEF).
National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment. Find out if your institution should take the NIPC today.
  • The National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment survey is designed to identify and audit facilities that possess any materials that may contain poliovirus to ensure compliance with requirements established in the WHO Global Action Plan (GAPIII).
  • Find out if your institution should take the National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment (NIPC) survey.
U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus
Boy with polio holding hands with an adult
  • Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease.
  • There are two vaccines used to protect against polio disease, oral polio vaccine and inactivated poliovirus vaccine.
  • There are three wild types of poliovirus (WPV) – type 1, type 2, and type 3.]
  • Poliovirus containment is focused on eradicated polioviruses. WPV2 and WPV3 were declared eradicated globally in 2015 and 2019, respectively.
lab worker looking at vials
  • Laboratories and other facilities that handle or store infectious and potentially infectious poliovirus materials pose a risk for polioviruses to be re-introduced into communities after eradication.]
  • All facilities that continue to handle and store poliovirus type 2 (WPV2/VDPV2 and OPV2) and WPV3/VDPV3 will require certification as a poliovirus-essential facility (PEF).