By: Claire Enyart


This virus is a contagious viral illness. Polio can be caused by contaminated water and food. It can be transferred by direct contact with someone who has already been infected.


Non-paralytic symptoms can include flu like symptoms and back or neck stiffness. You may also experience pain in your arms and legs and muscle weakness and tenderness.

Paralytic Polio, the most serious form, has similar symptoms to non-paralytic Polio except the pain is in the spinal cord and brain stem. You can lose reflexes, have loose and floppy limbs and severe muscle aches and weaknesses.

Post-Polio syndrome is the least severe kind of Polio. If you have Post-Polio Syndrome, you will experience muscle or joint weakness and pain, breathing and swallowing problems or depression or mood swings.

Organs/Organ Systems Affected

This disease mainly affects the central nervous system. Polio attacks your spinal cord and your brain stem.


There are ways to prevent Polio. There is a polio virus vaccine. People get it when they are two months, four months, between 6 and 18 months and between ages 4 and 6 when kids are just entering school. Another way is just to stay away from people infected.


There are only three countries where this disease still exists. Those countries are Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Similar Disease

There was a big outbreak in California of a rare disease that is very similar to Polio. The Enterovirus-68 is spreading nationwide. This is a respiratory illness that has been infecting and killing many children. The name of this virus is the Enterovirus-68.


There isn't a cure for Polio but there are many ways you can increase comfort. These ways consist of getting bed rest and a nutritious diet. You can also use a portable ventilator.

History of Polio

Polio is believed to exist in 1500 B.C.. In 1789, the first clinical description was announced. The first major epidemic occurred in Vermont, United States, 1894. Simon Flexner proved the Polio disease contagious in 1909. Later in 1953, Elizabeth Kenny opened the first clinic care for Polio patients.

There have been many famous people that have been infected with Polio. Franklin D. Roosevelt was diagnosed with Polio in 1921 and later died on April 12, 1945. Donald Sutherland and Alan Alda still have Polio and are still living.

There are two different Polio vaccines. The first vaccine was made by Jonas Salk, and was first tested in 1952. It was announced on April 12, 1955. The oral vaccine was created by Albert Sabin and was licensed in 1962 Polio cases have decreased 99 percent. In 1988, there were over 350,000 cases. In 2013, there were 416 reported.

Two very important parts of Polio history were the Iron Lung and the March of Dimes. The Iron Lung was created in 1927. Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw made this at Harvard University. The march of Dimes is a nonprofit Organization that was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt and was established in 1938.


Works Cited

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"History of Polio." History of Vaccines RSS. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.

Hoff, Brent, Carter Smith, and Charles H. Calisher. "Poliomyelitis." Mapping Epidemics: A Historical Atlas of Disease. New York: Franklin Watts, 2000. Print.

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"The Sixty Cent Question: How Can We Eradicate Polio Globally?" MOMentumNation. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

"University of California San Francisco." Rare Polio-Like Disease in California. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.