Polio News

Polio is a dangerous viral disease that can infect the brain and spinal cord. While many with polio show no symptoms or only minor symptoms, it can be deadly to others. Polio was a major health threat in the United States in the early and mid-1900s. In the 1940s and early 1950s, it crippled some 35,000 people in the United States each year. Today, polio has been eradicated in the United States, thanks largely to widespread vaccination efforts. But there are other areas of the world where polio is still common and causing harm. This includes parts of the Middle East and Africa.

Symptoms of Polio

Paralysis and death from polio are rare, but they are large enough threats that the effort to eradicate the disease was warranted. Of those infected with polio, about 95 percent show no symptoms. Around 4 to 8 percent exhibit flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, fever, nausea, headaches and other symptoms. Around 1 percent of those with polio develop paralysis, which usually affects the legs. And 5 to 10 percent of those who become paralyzed will eventually die from complications of polio, usually in the respiratory system.


The polio vaccine is the primary method for preventing polio infection. The vaccine is typically administered to children, and the form most children in the United States receive is called inactivated polio vaccine, or IPV. Children typically get four doses of the vaccine – at 2 months, 4 months, 6-8 months and 4 to 6 years. If a child or adult is unvaccinated and is planning to travel to a part of the world where polio is still present, vaccination is recommended.

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted
Article Title
Are Kids' Vaccines a Victim of Their Own Success?

The shots have cut disease rates so low that some parents underestimate the threat, doctors say

Polio Nearly Vanquished: CDC

But small pockets of world still have cases of crippling disease, officials add

Child Paralysis Cases Spiked During Virus Outbreak: Study

But definitive cause of polio-like disease remains unproved, researchers say

The Salk Polio Vaccine: 'Greatest Public Health Experiment in History'

Almost 2 million American kids stuck out their arms for an unheard-of test as Jonas Salk set out to prove his vaccine worked

A Lasting Legacy of Science

Salk trial set the stage for U.S. government oversight of drug manufacturing -- and testing

The Salk Polio Vaccine: A Medical Miracle Turns 60

The crippling disease was the scourge of the early 20th century, until Dr. Jonas Salk created a life-saving shield

The Man in the Iron Lung

Polio victim and attorney Paul Alexander has created a life for himself despite 61 years spent in an 'infernal device'

Two Polio Vaccines May Give Greater Protection Against Crippling Disease

Study found combining them boosted immune system even more than one

Researchers Assess New Way to Boost Polio Immunity

Giving kids an extra, inactivated dose might speed up eradication efforts, study says

Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Strikes Kids in California

Only a small number of cases identified, experts say, with no clear common cause

Childhood Vaccines Have Prevented 100 Million Infections in U.S.: Study

26 million infections averted in past decade alone, says study

Kindergarten Vaccines Close to Target Levels: CDC

But measles, chickenpox protection remains a concern

Vaccinations Belong on Parents' Back-to-School Checklists

Preventable diseases can threaten children's lives, expert warns

Most U.S. Kids Get Recommended Vaccines: CDC

But some still don't, which is a 'serious risk,' expert says

New Polio Vaccine Shows Major Advantages: Study

Bivalent oral vaccine targets two deadly strains of virus

U.S. Childhood Vaccine Rates Good But Could Be Better: CDC

Compliance still high and stable, but more coverage needed among poor, report finds

Plants Produce Protein to Fight Smallpox

Research with mice could one day offer alternative to today's risky vaccine

Many Polio Survivors Faring Well

Illness' long-term effects may not be as severe as feared, study finds

Polio Vaccine: It Tamed a Scourge, Transformed Medicine

50 years ago, officials announced the success of the breakthrough shot

Polio Symptoms Recur for Some Survivors

Post-polio syndrome can strike many years after initial attack

50 Years Later, 'Polio Pioneers' Still Recall the Fear

Salk vaccine marked beginning of the end for crippling virus

Another Study Debunks AIDS-Polio Vaccine Theory

Chimps from Congo carry different strain of disease, researchers found

Did FDR Have Polio After All?

Doctors, statistician question diagnosis of 32nd President

Tainted Polio Vaccine Not Linked to Rare Cancer Increase

Cancer increases seen in age group that was least likely exposed to vaccine

Cancer Link to Polio Vaccine Called Unlikely

But U.S. panel calls for further research

Book Ties Chronic Fatigue to Mild Polio

Researcher finds similar symptoms, but another questions data

Polio Tied to Higher Risk of Parkinson's

Scientists revive an old theory linking two diseases

Polio Redux

Disease can resurface later in life

Polio's Second Attack

Symptoms can return years later

New Threat for Polio Survivors

Many may develop debilitating post-polio syndrome

Polio-Chronic Fatigue Link Explored

Study to probe childhood 'grippe' connection to syndrome

Polio's Swan Song?

Crippling disease is quickly disappearing