Alternate Names : Acute Paralytic Poliomyelitis OR APP, Polio, Type 1 Poliovirus, Paralytic Poliomyelitis, Nonparalytic Poliomyelitis, Infantile Paralysis
What can be done to prevent the infection?
Polio can be almost completely prevented with polio immunization.
There are still many parts of the world that are not vaccinated. The majority
of cases occur in Indian, Asia, and Africa. Once everyone in the world has been
vaccinated, people will not need to be immunized because the virus will die
out. Routine vaccination is not recommended after a person is 18 years old.
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
The long-term effects of the disease include death, paralysis,
postpolio syndrome. In the past, when the muscles of the lungs were
affected, polio almost always led to death. Nowadays less than 5% of persons
with polio will die because the respiratory problems can be managed better.
Only 1% to 2% of persons infected with polio get symptoms related to nerve
damage. The rest of the people will get no symptoms or a minor flu-like
After some years, the overburdened nerve cells can sometimes weaken and fail.
This results in new muscle weakness, called postpolio syndrome. About
half the people with polio will get postpolio syndrome.
What are the risks to others?
Polio is very contagious. The virus is spread directly from the stool of an
infected person to the mouth of a noninfected person. This is usually from
contaminated hands or eating utensils.