What is Polio?


Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by an infection with a poliovirus (type 1, 2, or 3) spread through saliva or feces with close contact or contaminated food & water.  The virus can damage the central nervous system including the nerves that activate muscles, which can lead to asymmetric paralysis and death. Progressive muscle weakness can appear 15 to 40 years after initial infection.

This disease can be prevented by food & water precautions, hand washing and vaccination.  Childhood immunization programs have nearly eradicated Polio, however there is still circulation of the virus in some countries.



Vaccine names: Adacel-Polio, Boostrix-Polio and Imovax Polio

Minimum age: 4 years

Primary series: Children receive 5 dose series with routine immunization programs.  Adults not previously immunized receive at least 3 doses.

Boosters: Prior to exposure

Duration: Unknown