View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
Definition of POLIOMYELITIS
: an acute infectious disease caused by the poliovirus and characterized by fever, motor paralysis, and atrophy of skeletal muscles often with permanent disability and deformity and marked by inflammation of nerve cells in the anterior gray matter in each lateral half of the spinal cord —called also infantile paralysis
: an acute infectious virus disease caused by the poliovirus, characterized by fever, motor paralysis, and atrophy of skeletal muscles often with permanent disability and deformity, and marked by inflammation of nerve cells in the ventral horns of the spinal cord—called also infantile paralysis, polio
Acute infectious viral disease that can cause flaccid paralysis of muscles. Severe epidemics killed or paralyzed many people, mostly children and young adults, until the 1960s, when Jonas Salk's injectable killed vaccine and Albert B. Sabin's oral attenuated live vaccine controlled polio in the developed world. Flulike symptoms with diarrhea may progress to back and limb pain, muscle tenderness, and stiff neck. Destruction of spinal cord motor cells causes paralysis, ranging from transient weakness to complete, permanent paralysis, in fewer than 20% of patients. Patients may lose the ability to use their limbs, to breathe, or to swallow and speak. They may need physical medicine and rehabilitation, mechanical breathing assistance, or tracheal suction to remove secretions. A postpolio syndrome occurs decades later in some cases, with weakness of muscles that had recovered.