polio

noun
po·​lio | \ˈpō-lē-ˌō \

Definition of polio 

: an infectious disease especially of young children that is caused by the poliovirus

Note: Individuals infected with the poliovirus are often asymptomatic. In approximately 25% of cases, polio presents as a mild to moderate illness marked by headache, fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. Polio affects the central nervous system only infrequently with inflammation and sometimes destruction of the motor neurons in the gray matter of the spinal cord and brain stem. Central nervous system involvement results in temporary or permanent muscle weakness or motor paralysis especially of the limbs and typically the legs. Polio may become life-threatening when paralysis affects the muscles involved in breathing and swallowing.

And the dreaded disease polio was virtually eliminated in 1955 when the Salk_vaccine was approved for public use.— Mary Beth Norton et al. Polio is endemic in only four countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and regions of Nigeria and India …— Donald G. McNeil Jr.

called also infantile paralysis, poliomyelitis

— see post-polio syndrome

Examples of polio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For instance, mass immunization campaigns targeting common diseases like polio, measles, and yellow fever are super-effective ways to prevent disease and save lives. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Billionaires are spending their fortunes reshaping America’s schools. It isn’t working.," 30 Oct. 2018 As a young teacher in Coffeyville, Brosseau, spent months tutoring a student with polio who was living with an iron lung. Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "Retired high school teacher leaves more than $7 million to the University of Kansas," 5 June 2018 Some possible suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "Cases of mysterious paralyzing illness reported in 22 states," 16 Oct. 2018 His first assignment was to work on a price-fixing case involving polio vaccine. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Antitrust Regulator Took on Intel’s Andy Grove, Joe Camel and Listerine’s Ad Claims," 12 Oct. 2018 Betty Waller, 89, is a polio survivor and lives in a nursing home in Baton Rouge. David Begnaud, CBS News, "Thousands of elderly, disabled face eviction from Louisiana nursing homes over Medicaid cuts," 9 May 2018 Chimps, due to their being the closest genetic relative to human beings, were for decades widely used in medical research studies in an effort to develop vaccines for a number of infectious diseases such as polio, hepatitis, HIV … the list is long. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Lincoln Park Zoo partners with Chimp Haven — a place where chimps can get out of their lab cages and live free," 21 June 2018 The other is polio, which persists only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. New York Times, "Nearly Eradicated in Humans, the Guinea Worm Finds New Victims: Dogs," 18 June 2018 But his determination not to show the physical signs of his polio to the public remains famous decades later, even though the idea that the public didn’t know about his disability is a myth. Gabby Raymond, Time, "Why Newly Discovered Video Footage of Franklin D. Roosevelt Walking Is a Big Deal," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polio.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of polio

1911, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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The first known use of polio was in 1911

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More Definitions for polio

polio

noun

English Language Learners Definition of polio

medical : a serious disease that affects the nerves of the spine and often makes a person permanently unable to move particular muscles

polio

noun
po·​lio | \ˈpō-lē-ˌō \

Kids Definition of polio

: a once common disease often affecting children and sometimes causing paralysis

polio

noun
po·​lio | \ˈpō-lē-ˌō \

Medical Definition of polio 

: an infectious disease especially of young children that is caused by the poliovirus

Note: Individuals infected with the poliovirus are often asymptomatic. In approximately 25% of cases, polio presents as a mild to moderate illness marked by headache, fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. Polio affects the central nervous system only infrequently with inflammation and sometimes destruction of the motor neurons in the gray matter of the spinal cord and brain stem. Central nervous system involvement results in temporary or permanent muscle weakness or flaccid paralysis of muscles especially of the limbs and typically the legs. Polio may become life-threatening when paralysis affects the muscles involved in breathing and swallowing.

Thanks to the Salk and Sabin vaccines, the specter of crippling polio that once made summers an apprehensive time for Americans has long since passed.People Weekly, 17 Sept. 1984 While the last case of naturally occurring polio in the United States was in 1979, the disease remains prevalent in other areas of the world.— Evan Johnson, The Addison County (Vermont) Independent, 21 Aug. 2014

called also infantile paralysis, poliomyelitis

— see post-polio syndrome

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More from Merriam-Webster on polio

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polio

Spanish Central: Translation of polio

Nglish: Translation of polio for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polio

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