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Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious virus that usually affects children under the age of 5. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water. The virus moves into the intestine and then on to the nervous system. 1 of every 200 cases results in paralysis, usually in the legs. The virus can also paralyze the breathing muscles causing death.[1]

In 1988, the world took a stand against polio with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The effort was a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF. As of 2008, cases of polio are down 99% from their 1988 level, 350,000 cases, to 1997. The disease is largely eradicated in the U.S. however, it still remains a serious problem in several countries including Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.[2]



  • fever
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • stiffness in the neck
  • pain in the limbs
  • paralysis, often permanent (in rare cases)


Polio can only be prevented by getting immunized.

Famous People

The following is a list excerpted from [3]:

  • Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954): actor
  • Dick Cabela: outdoorsman and founder of "Cabela's"
  • Arthur C. Clarke: author
  • Georgia Coleman (1912-1940): olympic diver
  • Francis Ford Coppola: director
  • Claudius (10 B.C. to 54 A.D.): Emperor of Rome
  • Joni Mitchell: singer
  • Jack Nicklaus: golfer
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967): physicist and teacher
  • Ed Roberts (1939-1995): Father of the Independent Living Movement
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945): US president
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832): father of historical fiction
  • Siptah: Egyptian Pharaoh (lived 20 years around 1200 BC)

External Links


  1. Poliomyelitis. World Health Organzation. January, 2008. Accessed on February 1, 2008.