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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Poliomyelitis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Polio
  • Infantile paralysis
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Overview

Poliomyelitis is a viral disease that can affect nerves and can lead to partial or full paralysis. It is caused by infection with the poliovirus which can be spread by direct person-to-person contact, by contact with infected mucus or phlegm from the nose or mouth, or by contact with infected feces. There are three basic patterns of polio infection: subclinical infections, nonparalytic, and paralytic.[1]Symptoms vary based on the pattern of infection and can range from asymptomatic with subclinical poliomyelitis to partial or full paralysis. Treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms while the infection runs its course. Since the development of polio vaccine, the incidence of the disease has been greatly reduced.[2]The prognosis depends on the form of the disease (subclinical, nonparalytic, or paralytic) and the site affected.[1]

Last updated: 12/24/2015

References

  1. Vorvick L, Vyas JM. Poliomyelitis. MedlinePlus. 8/31/2014; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001402.htm. Accessed 12/24/2015.
  2. James P. Alexander, Gregory S. Wallace, Steven G. F. Wassilak. Poliomyelitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). July 10, 2015; http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/poliomyelitis. Accessed 12/24/2015.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) produces guidelines and standards, helps countries to address public health issues, and supports and promotes health research. The WHO has developed a fact sheet on this condition. 

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
    Poliomyelitis
    Acute Poliomyelitis
    Pediatric Poliomyelitis
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Poliomyelitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Polio
  • Infantile paralysis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.