polio

noun
po·​lio | \ ˈpō-lē-ˌō How to pronounce polio (audio) \

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

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Other Words from polio

polio-like \ ˈpō-​lē-​ˌō-​ˌlīk How to pronounce polio-like (audio) \ or poliolike adjective
a polio-like disease polio-like paralysis

Examples of polio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Rat bites were once a significant enough public health threat to prompt Johns Hopkins research on the spread of polio and rabies. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore has fewer rats than D.C., and other important facts about the city’s long history fighting rodents," 30 July 2019 Many others who have tried Cyberdyne products haven’t seen such breakthrough results, but Sankai believes his robotic suits could be effective in restoring motor functions in patients with such crippling diseases as muscular dystrophy and polio. Los Angeles Times, "Desperate for workers, aging Japan turns to robots for healthcare," 25 July 2019 Previous emergencies were declared for the devastating 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, the emergence of Zika in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic and polio. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Global health emergency declared over deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo," 18 July 2019 There's a new government warning about acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, a serious polio-like illness that mainly strikes young children. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "AFM still a "bit of a mystery" amid peak season for polio-like illness," 10 July 2019 Previously, the three vaccines that were mandatory—diphtheria, tetanus, and polio—had good immunization rates of 95% or higher. Alex Whiting, Quartz, "How France is convincing its citizens to get vaccinated," 26 June 2019 The second time was in May 2014, when polio seemed to surge again, threatening the eradication effort. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The WHO finally declared a public health emergency over Ebola," 17 July 2019 Fetal tissue has been used in many types of medical research, including the development of vaccines for polio, measles and other diseases, and therapies to treat Parkinson’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and to prevent the transmission of HIV. Michelle Andrews, Scientific American, "FAQ: How Does New Trump Fetal Policy Impact Medical Research?," 7 June 2019 Previous emergencies were declared for the devastating 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, the emergence of Zika in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic and polio. Maria Cheng And Jamey Keaten, USA TODAY, "Ebola outbreak in Congo declared an international health emergency by World Health Organization," 17 July 2019

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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Statistics for polio

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for polio

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 How to pronounce polio (audio) \

Kids Definition of polio

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

polio

noun
po·​lio | \ ˈpō-lē-ˌō How to pronounce polio (audio) \

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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