|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]|
poliomyelitis po·li·o·my·e·li·tis (pō'lē-ō-mī'ə-lī'tĭs)
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.
|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.
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.