Adam McDonald

What is Poliomyelitis?

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a viral infection that caused by the poliovirus. It effects the brain and the spinal cord in such a way that can leave the patient paralyzed. It enters the body through the mouth or other open areas, and can take up to three weeks for any symptoms to appear. It then spreads to the intestines, passing through the blood stream, to the nervous system. The virus attacks the nerve cells, leading to paralysis.

How It is Transmitted

Polio is a virus that only effects humans. It is extremely contagious, and is spread through person to person contact. It lives in the throat and intestines of humans. People can be infected through contact with feces. Infected people can transmit the virus two weeks after any symptoms are detected.


Symptoms of polio include sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, and stomach pain. However, approximately 90%-95% of people do not show symptoms of the virus.

Risk Factors

People with an immune deficiency, who are pregnant, and have had their tonsils removed are all at risk for polio. Polio occurs mostly in places that are home to unsanitary living conditions. The majority of cases of polio are within children under just 5 years of age.

Effect on Human Population

You should be glad to hear that thanks to many efforts, largely with the help of the Bill Gates Foundation, polio is mostly eradicated. There is still a small number of areas in Southern Asia, as well as Africa that have a higher risk for people to get polio. However, thanks to many relief efforts around the world, the fight to eliminating Polio is almost over.


There is no cure for polio. The only way a person with polio can find relief is if the symptoms are treated using heat or physical therapy.


One way to prevent the spreading or the obtaining of polio is to become vaccination. Immunization, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life from the vicious virus.

Works Cited

"Key Publications." Global Polio Eradication Initiative Home. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

"Polio." - Mayo Clinic. N.p., 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

"What Is Polio?" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.