BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPolioPoliomyelitis; Infantile paralysis; Post-polio syndromePolio is a viral disease that can affect nerves and can lead to partial or full paralysis. The medical name for polio is poliomyelitis.ParalysisMuscle function loss is when a muscle does not work or move normally. The medical term for complete loss of muscle function is paralysis.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Polio is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. The virus spreads by: Direct person-to-person contact Contact with infected mucus or phlegm from the nose or mouth Contact with infected feces The virus enters through the mouth and nose, multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract, and then is absorbed and spread through the blood and lymph system. The time from being infected with the virus to developing symptoms of disease (incubation) ranges from 5 to 35 days (average 7 to 14 days). Most people do not develop symptoms.Lymph systemThe lymph system is a network of organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, and lymph vessels that make and move lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. The l...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Risks factors include:Lack of immunization against polio Travel to an area that has had a polio outbreak As a result of a global vaccination campaign over the past 25 years, polio has largely been eliminated. The disease still exists in some countries (such as Pakistan and Afghanistan), with outbreaks occurring in groups of people who have not been vaccinated. For an updated list of these countries, visit the website: www.polioeradication.org. Symptoms There are four basic patterns of polio infection:Inapparent infection Abortive disease Nonparalytic ParalyticINAPPARENT INFECTIONMost people infected with poliovirus have inapparent infections. They usually do not have symptoms. The only way to know if someone has the infection is by performing a blood test or other tests to find the virus in the stool or throat.ABORTIVE DISEASEPeople who have abortive disease develop symptoms about 1 to 2 weeks after getting infected with the virus. Symptoms may include:Fever for 2 to 3 days FeverFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or abov...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article General discomfort or uneasiness (malaise) MalaiseMalaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Headache Sore throat Vomiting VomitingNausea is feeling an urge to vomit. It is often called "being sick to your stomach. "Vomiting or throwing-up is forcing the contents of the stomach ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Loss of appetite Belly pain These symptoms last up to 5 days and people recover completely. They have no signs of nervous system problems.Nervous systemThe central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord. Your brain and spinal cord serve as the main "processing center" for your entir...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article NONPARALYTIC POLIOPeople with this form of polio have signs of abortive polio and their symptoms are more intense. Other symptoms may include:Stiff and sore muscles at the back of the neck, trunk, arms, and legs Urinary problems and constipation Changes in muscle reaction (reflexes) as the disease progresses ReflexesA reflex is a muscle reaction that happens automatically in response to stimulation. Certain sensations or movements produce specific muscle respons...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article PARALYTIC POLIOThis form of polio develops in a small percentage of people who are infected with the polio virus. Symptoms include those of abortive and nonparalytic polio. Other symptoms may include:Muscle weakness, paralysis, loss of muscle tissue Breathing that is weak Difficulty swallowing Drooling Hoarse voice Severe constipation and urinary problems Exams and Tests During a physical examination, the health care provider may find:Abnormal reflexes Back stiffness Difficulty lifting the head or legs when lying flat on the back Stiff neck Trouble bending the neckTests that may be done include:Cultures of throat washings, stools, or spinal fluid Spinal tap and examination of the spinal fluid (CSF examination) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) CSF examinationCerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is a group of laboratory tests that measure chemicals in the cerebrospinal fluid. CSF is a clear fluid that surro...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Test for levels of antibodies to the polio virusAntibodiesAn antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include micr...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment The goal of treatment is to control symptoms while the infection runs its course. There is no specific treatment for this infection.People with severe cases may need lifesaving measures, such as help with breathing.Symptoms are treated based on how severe they are. Treatment may include:Antibiotics for urinary tract infections Urinary tract infectionsA urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection of the urinary tract. The infection can occur at different points in the urinary tract, including...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Moist heat (heating pads, warm towels) to reduce muscle pain and spasms Painkillers to reduce headache, muscle pain, and spasms (narcotics are not usually given because they increase the risk of breathing trouble) Physical therapy, braces or corrective shoes, or orthopedic surgery to help recover muscle strength and function Outlook (Prognosis) The outlook depends on the form of the disease and the body area affected. Most of the time, complete recovery is likely if the spinal cord and brain are not involved.Brain or spinal cord involvement is a medical emergency that may result in paralysis or death (usually from breathing problems).BreathingThe words "respiratory" and "respiration" refer to the lungs and breathing.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Disability is more common than death. Infection that is located high in the spinal cord or in the brain increases the risk of breathing problems. Possible Complications Health problems that may result from polio include:Aspiration pneumonia Aspiration pneumoniaPneumonia is inflammation (swelling) and infection of the lungs or large airways. Aspiration pneumonia occurs when food or liquid is breathed into th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Cor pulmonale (a form of heart failure found on the right side of the circulation system) Cor pulmonaleCor pulmonale is a condition that causes the right side of the heart to fail. Long-term high blood pressure in the arteries of the lung and right ve...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Lack of movement Lung problems Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) MyocarditisMyocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition is called pediatric myocarditis when it occurs in children.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Paralytic ileus (loss of intestinal function) Paralytic ileusIntestinal obstruction is a partial or complete blockage of the bowel. The contents of the intestine cannot pass through it.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Permanent muscle paralysis, disability, deformity Pulmonary edema (abnormal buildup of fluid in the lungs) Pulmonary edemaPulmonary edema is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the lungs. This buildup of fluid leads to shortness of breath.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Shock ShockShock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Lack of blood flow means the cells and organs do n...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Urinary tract infectionsPost-polio syndrome is a complication that develops in some people, usually 30 or more years after they are first infected. Muscles that were already weak may get weaker. Weakness may also develop in muscles that were not affected before. When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if:Someone close to you has developed poliomyelitis and you haven't been vaccinated. You develop symptoms of poliomyelitis. Your child's polio immunization (vaccine) is not up to date. Prevention Polio immunization (vaccine) prevents poliomyelitis in most people (over 90% effective).VaccineAll content below is taken in its entirety from the CDC Polio Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www. cdc. gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/ipv....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesJorgensen S, Lau M, Arnold WD. Motor neuron diseases. In: Cifu DX, ed. Braddom's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 40.Romero JR. Poliovirus. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 171.Simões EAF. Polioviruses. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 276.AllVideoImagesTogPoliomyelitis - illustration Poliomyelitis is a communicable disease caused by viral infection and occurs through direct contact with infected secretions. Polio is found worldwide, but immunization has reduced the incidence. Clinical polio affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Disability is more common than death.PoliomyelitisillustrationPoliomyelitis - illustration Poliomyelitis is a communicable disease caused by viral infection and occurs through direct contact with infected secretions. Polio is found worldwide, but immunization has reduced the incidence. Clinical polio affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Disability is more common than death.PoliomyelitisillustrationRelated Information Muscle function loss(Symptoms)Lymph system(Special Topic)Tonsillectomy(Surgery)Stress and your health(Symptoms)Incidence(Special Topic)Pulmonary edema(Condition)Shock(Injury)Respiratory(Special Topic)Aspiration pneumonia(Condition)Kidney stones(Condition)Anxiety disorders(In-Depth)Pneumonia(In-Depth)Kidney stones(In-Depth) Review Date: 9/1/2021 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.