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

Examples of polio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

It was originally founded in 1988, when health workers recorded more than 350,000 cases of polio around the world. Bill Gates, WSJ, "Bill Gates: The Best Investment I’ve Ever Made," 16 Jan. 2019 Two of her sisters died of polio in childhood, and a brother was fatally struck by lightning in his teens. Anita Gates, New York Times, "Dorothy Malone Dies at 93; Star of TV’s ‘Peyton Place," 19 Jan. 2018 Such was the case in Nigeria when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began its polio eradication efforts there. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018 As with polio pandemics, the deep damage of the last trade war has passed from common memory. Michael Hicks, Indianapolis Star, "Hicks: What's a trade war? We may soon find out.," 10 June 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking into an extremely rare condition that is being described as a polio-like illness for its ability to cause weakness and paralysis in children. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "The CDC Is Investigating Acute Flaccid Myelitis, a Rare Illness That’s Caused Over 60 Cases of Paralysis This Year," 17 Oct. 2018 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

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

2 Feb 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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