Poliomyelitis (polio) is viral infection. It is now extremely rare in the Western world due to very effective vaccination programs.
Polio is still a significant problem in parts of Africa and Asia. The infection can lead to paralysis.
Polio is caused by the poliovirus. You can get the virus from contact with:
- An infected person
- Infected saliva or feces
- Contaminated water or sewage
The virus enters the body through the mouth and travels to the intestines. There the virus grows and spreads quickly. The virus can also travels through the blood and lymph fluid. It can then attack and destroys areas of the nervous system which leads to a loss of control of muscles and paralysis.
Interaction of Lymph, Blood Vessels, and Intestines
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedJune 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.