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

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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 That vaccine and the oral vaccine work equally well at preventing polio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, 23 July 2021 After contracting polio at the age of 28, Robin Cavendish is confined to a bed and given only months to live. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2021 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who suffered polio as a child, has been a vocal advocate for vaccinations. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 21 July 2021 That vaccine and the oral vaccine work equally well at preventing polio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ben Guarino Washington Post, Star Tribune, 21 July 2021 Children now must provide proof of immunizations against diseases including measles, mumps, chicken pox and polio to enroll in school. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, 14 July 2021 Trujillo was invited as a guest to two State of the Union addresses and a former colleague booked her a suite in a hotel for a conference on polio after her tenure in Washington. Megan Taros, The Arizona Republic, 12 July 2021 Nearly 50 years ago, medical sociologists John and Sonja McKinlay examined death rates from 10 serious diseases: tuberculosis, scarlet fever, influenzae, pneumonia, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, smallpox, typhoid, and polio. Robert M. Kaplan, STAT, 12 July 2021 One variety of enterovirus, known as EV-D68, is linked to a floppy paralysis resembling polio. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, 6 July 2021

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

History and Etymology for polio

short for poliomyelitis

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Dictionary Entries Near polio

Polinices

polio

poliomyelitis

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Statistics for polio

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Polio.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polio. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on polio

Nglish: Translation of polio for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polio

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