1. highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system
  2. Children younger than 5 years old are more likely to contract the virus


  1. headache
  2. sore, red throat
  3. slight fever
  4. vomiting
  5. general discomfort
  6. fatigue
  7. abnormal reflexes
  8. problems swallowing and/or breathing
  9. back and neck pain and stiffness, particularly neck stiffness with forward flexion of the neck
  10. arm and leg pain or stiffness

  11. muscle tenderness and spasms
  12. Meningitis


  1. transmitted from person-to-person through fecal matter
  2. virus can be spread by contaminated food or water
  3. direct contact with another infected person.

Risk Factors

  • Travel to an area where polio is common or that has recently experienced an outbreak
  • Living with or caring for someone who may be shedding poliovirus
  • A compromised immune system, such as occurs with HIV infection
  • Having had your tonsils removed (tonsillectomy)
  • Extreme stress or strenuous physical activity after being exposed to poliovirus, both of which can depress your immune system

Diagnostic Tests

  • diagnosis of throat secretions, stool or cerebrospinal fluid
  • physical examination


  • rest
  • painkillers to relieve headaches, muscle aches, and muscle spasms
  • antibiotics for urinary tract infections
  • portable ventilators to help with breathing
  • physical therapy and/or corrective braces to help with walking
  • heating pads or warm towels to ease muscle aches and spasms
  • physical therapy to treat pain in the affected muscles
  • physical therapy to address breathing and pulmonary problems and then pulmonary rehabilitation to increase the patient’s pulmonary
  • ndurance as the acute breathing problems improve
  • vaccination


  • polio vaccination
  • Fewer shots for your child
  • IPV or the oral polio vaccine (OPV)