Poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis

About Poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute, viral, infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route. The term derives from the Greek polis , meaning 'grey', myels (marrow), referring to the grey matter of the spinal cord, and the suffix -itis, which denotes inflammation., i.e., inflammation of the spinal cords grey matter, although a severe infection can extend into the brainstem and even higher structures, resulting in polioencephalitis, producing apnea that requires mechanical assistance such as an iron lung. Although approximately 90% of polio infections cause no symptoms at all, affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream. In about 1% of cases, the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis.