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. The longstanding quest to eradicate polio is attracting a new injection of funds from donors around the world, as health leaders grapple with obstacles from ridding conflict areas of the virus to a shortage of vaccine.— Betsy McKay

called also infantile paralysis, poliomyelitis

— see post-polio syndrome

Other Words from polio

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

Examples of polio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An advance market commitment could be repeated for the polio vaccine. Awi Federgruen, STAT, 16 Sep. 2022 In 1955, the first polio vaccine became widely available. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 25 Aug. 2022 The virus found in these regions is derived from an oral polio vaccine used in some countries. Heidi Ledford, Scientific American, 25 Aug. 2022 As epidemiologist Syra Madad wrote, the discovery of a polio vaccine in the 1950s was a huge triumph. Richard Galant, CNN, 21 Aug. 2022 The image showed children lined up to receive gamma globulin shots, not the polio vaccine. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2022 The polio vaccine, which was introduced in 1955, is 99% effective against the virus. al, 19 Aug. 2022 Almost 93% of children in the U.S. have received three or more doses of the polio vaccine by age 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Allison Prang, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2022 Most people infected with polio have no symptoms but can still give the virus to others for days or weeks. Michael Hill, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of polio

1911, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polio

short for poliomyelitis

Learn More About polio

Dictionary Entries Near polio

Polinices

polio

poliomyelitis

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Statistics for polio

Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Polio.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polio. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for polio

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 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

called also infantile paralysis, poliomyelitis

— see post-polio syndrome

More from Merriam-Webster on polio

Nglish: Translation of polio for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polio

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