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.

  • Since the polio vaccine was invented during the early 1950s, infections from the poliovirus have nearly been eradicated in the United States.
  • The vaccine is given four times.
  • Among those who don't receive the vaccine, infants and young children are at the greatest risk.
  • The most severe form can result in paralysis.
  • There is no cure.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches poliomyelitis

The Children's Hospital Informatics Program created HealthMap, an online resource and smart phone app that helps track the spread of contagious diseases in real time, including polio.