What is polio?

The poliovirus resides only in humans and enters the environment in the feces of someone who's infected. Poliovirus spreads primarily through the fecal-oral route, especially in areas where sanitation is inadequate.

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Also known as Poliomyelitis, Infantile Paralysis, Polios, Acute Poliomyelitis, Polio Encephalitis, Nonpoliovirus Poliomyelitis, Epidemic Acute Poliomyelitis, Preparalytic Poliomyelitis, Preparalytic Poliomyelitides
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Polio is a contagious viral illness that in its most severe form causes paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death.

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Paralysis, Infantile

Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It attacks your nervous system. In rare cases, polio infection can cause paralysis. Polio vaccination will protect most people for life. The United States and most other countries eradicated polio decades ago, except for rare cases. The disease most commonly affects young children. Poliovirus spreads in human waste. People usually get it from contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, vomiting, neck stiffness, and leg and arm pain. Most infected people never have symptoms. No treatment will reverse polio paralysis. Moist heat, physical therapy and medicines might ease symptoms.

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Polio and post polio syndrome

Polio, also known as poliomyelitis, is a condition caused by a highly infectious virus. For most people, polio is a mild illness and only causes flu-like symptoms. However, for others, polio is a potentially fatal condition that can cause severe muscle paralysis (paralytic polio). This is because a severe case of polio attacks the nerve cells that help the muscles to function.

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Poliomyelitis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral ...

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Polio is a contagious, historically devastating disease that was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere in the second half of the 20th century ...

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Polio vaccine- 508 compliant

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Global Polio Eradication Initiative > Home

Nigeria: new technology helps reach more children with life-saving polio vaccine ... Polio eradication this week. In India, a new wild poliovirus type 1 ...

WHO | Poliomyelitis

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. ...

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Vaccines: VPD-VAC/Polio/main page

Polio vaccine info for parents, public, and healthcare professionals.

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Polio Facts

Polio, short for poliomyelitis, is a disease that can damage the nervous system and cause paralysis. Since polio immunization has become widespread in the ...

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Paralytic polio can lead to temporary or permanent muscle paralysis, disability, and deformities of the hips, ankles and feet. Although many deformities can be corrected with surgery and physical therapy, these treatments may not be options in developing nations where polio is still endemic. As a result, children who survive polio may spend their lives with severe disabilities.

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Although improved public sanitation and careful personal hygiene may help reduce the spread of polio, the most effective way to prevent the disease is with polio vaccine.

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Risk factors
You're at greatest risk of polio if you haven't been immunized against the disease. In areas with poor sanitation and sporadic or nonexistent immunization programs, the most vulnerable members of the population pregnant women, the very young and those with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to poliovirus.

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Although polio can cause paralysis and death, the vast majority of people who are infected with the poliovirus don't become sick and are never aware they've been infected with polio.

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Tests and diagnosis
Doctors often recognize polio by symptoms such as neck and back stiffness, abnormal reflexes, and difficulty swallowing and breathing. To confirm the diagnosis, a sample of throat secretions, stool or cerebrospinal fluid a colorless fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord is checked for the presence of poliovirus.

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Treatments and drugs
Because no cure for polio exists, the focus is on increasing comfort, speeding recovery and preventing complications. Supportive treatments include: Bed rest; Antibiotics for secondary infections (none for poliovirus); Analgesics for pain; Portable ventilators to assist breathing; Moderate exercise (physiotherapy) to prevent deformity and loss of muscle function; A nutritious diet

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