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.

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 Decades on from the polio vaccine, healthcare officials still have a tendency to dismiss vaccine concerns as irrational. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "American healthcare’s racist history helped fuel a fear of vaccines," 30 July 2020 He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane. Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star, "Federal executions scheduled at Terre Haute prison next week will be first since 2003," 8 July 2020 Around the world, people die every year from outbreaks that vaccines could have quashed, from polio in Pakistan to human papillomavirus infections in Japan. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "There was an effective vaccine. An outbreak struck anyway.," 7 July 2020 Camp Winnebago was founded during the Spanish Flu and weathered all manner of health scares from polio to the swine flu over a century. David Sharp, The Christian Science Monitor, "Summer camps use survival skills to keep running during COVID-19," 6 July 2020 In Roth’s Nemesis, Bucky, a gym teacher who organizes summer games outdoors for children during the polio outbreak of 1944, yearns to be free to join his rich girlfriend who has escaped the outbreak to go off to a camp in the country. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Novels of Tension Between Freedom and Disaster," 10 July 2020 Pakistan has instituted a program that leverages the existing polio environmental surveillance network to monitor SARS-CoV-2 at 78 wastewater treatment plants across the country. Anna Mehrotra, STAT, "It’s time to begin a national wastewater testing program for Covid-19," 9 July 2020 As the world races to produce an effective Covid-19 vaccine, some experts are turning their attention to a polio immunization as a way to provide temporary protection against coronavirus. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, June 12," 12 June 2020 The last vaccine to quell a global viral scourge was the polio inoculation, which ended outbreaks that killed thousands and paralyzed tens of thousands each year in the United States. oregonlive, "Analysis: How a COVID-19 vaccine could cost Americans dearly," 10 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for polio

Time Traveler

The first known use of polio was in 1911

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Statistics for polio

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polio.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polio. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for polio

polio

noun
How to pronounce polio (audio)

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

Comments on polio

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