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What is poliomyelitis?
Poliomyelitis, or simply Polio, is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by three types of poliovirus. The poliovirus is a virus that destroys nervous system causing paralysis.
Types of poliomyelitis
What causes poliomyelitis?
The poliovirus spreads most often from fecal-oral contact. Usually, this occurs from poor hand washing or from consuming of contaminated food or water. Sneezing or coughing also spreads the virus. Your child is most contagious immediately before any symptoms show up and soon after they appear.
Is poliomyelitis common?
Since the advent of the polio vaccine during the early 1950s, infections from the poliovirus have nearly been eradicated. In fact, there have been no known infectious, or "wild," cases of polio in the United States since 1979. That said, polio is still a problem in poor, undeveloped countries. Infants and children are at the greatest risk and infections are most common during summer and fall.
What are the symptoms of poliomyelitis?
About 90 to 95 percent of people who do get infected with polio have no symptoms at all. Of those who do get the infection, 2 percent or fewer may develop paralytic disease. Symptoms may vary depending on the kind of polio and vary child-to-child.
The most common include
Can poliomyelitis be prevented?
Yes. In addition to proper hygiene and handwashing techniques, the best way to prevent polio is by being vaccinated. The polio vaccine, or IPV (Inactivated polio vaccine), is recommended four times, when your child is:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”