1930–35, Americanism; shortened form

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World English Dictionary
polio (ˈpəʊlɪəʊ)
short for poliomyelitis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1931, abbreviation of poliomyelitis, coined 1878 from Gk. polios "gray" + myelos "marrow" + L. -itis "inflammation," so called because the gray matter in the spinal cord is inflamed, which causes paralysis. The earlier name was infantile paralysis (1843).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

polio po·li·o (pō'lē-ō')

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
They were essential to developing the polio vaccine.
They gave him stories from history and also solace during his long recovery
  from polio.
Still, polio scientists are eager to get a better picture of who these
  long-term shedders are.
The tantalizing dream of eradicating polio will have to be put off yet again.
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