poliomyelitis

[poh-lee-oh-mahy-uh-lahy-tis]
noun Pathology.
an acute viral disease, usually affecting children and young adults, caused by any of three polioviruses, characterized by inflammation of the motor neurons of the brain stem and spinal cord, and resulting in a motor paralysis, followed by muscular atrophy and often permanent deformities.
Also called acute anterior poliomyelitis, infantile paralysis, polio.


Origin:
1875–80; < Neo-Latin < Greek polió(s) gray + Neo-Latin myelitis myelitis

poliomyelitic [poh-lee-oh-mahy-uh-lit-ik] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
poliomyelitis (ˌpəʊlɪəʊˌmaɪəˈlaɪtɪs)
 
n
Often shortened to: polio, Also called: infantile paralysis an acute infectious viral disease, esp affecting children. In its paralytic form (acute anterior poliomyelitis) the brain and spinal cord are involved, causing weakness, paralysis, and wasting of muscle
 
[C19: New Latin, from Greek polios grey + muelos marrow]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

poliomyelitis po·li·o·my·e·li·tis (pō'lē-ō-mī'ə-lī'tĭs)
n.
A highly infectious viral disease that chiefly affects children and, in its acute forms, causes inflammation of motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem, leading to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and often deformity. Also called infantile paralysis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
poliomyelitis   (pō'lē-ō-mī'ə-lī'tĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
A highly communicable infectious disease caused by the poliovirus of the genus Enterovirus that causes inflammation of motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem, leading to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and often disability and deformity. Childhood vaccinations are given to prevent infection. Also called polio.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
poliomyelitis (polio) [(poh-lee-oh-meye-uh-leye-tis)]

An acute disease, and an infectious disease, caused by a virus, that brings about inflammation of certain nerve cells in the spinal cord. It can have a wide range of effects, from mild to severe, including paralysis, permanent disability, and death. In the United States, the disease has now largely vanished since the development of a vaccine against it. (See Sabin vaccine and Salk vaccine.)

Note: The history of polio, which went from a major public health problem to a minor one in a short time, is often used as an example of the benefits of medical research.
Note: President Franklin D. Roosevelt suffered from poliomyelitis. During his presidency, he could not walk unaided.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease caused by viruses.
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