Testing & Diagnosis for Poliomyelitis in Children

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Contact the Division of Infectious Diseases

How does a doctor know that it's poliomyelitis?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, your doctor may want to run a few tests including:

  • Cultures (of the throat, urine, and stool)
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
    • a special needle is placed into the lower back, into the spinal canal
    • measures the pressure in the spinal canal and brain
    • a small amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) can be removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other problems
    • not be recommended if your child is very ill
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

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