Poliomyelitis or polio is a virus that causes a serious disease. It is spread from person to person. Most of the time, polio has no symptoms unless it goes into the blood. It is uncommon for it to enter the brain or spinal cord. If this does happen, it can cause muscles to become paralyzed. Some people get better from the paralysis, others will be disabled and depending on which muscles have been affected may need a mobility aid or wheelchair, or may have difficulty using their hands or even breathing. About 15 out of every 10000 adults (a 0.015% chance) who get polio die.
Vaccination with polio vaccines could stop the disease all over the world. Organizations like the World Health Organisation have been doing this, and vaccination has eliminated polio from most countries in the world. Polio worldwide has dropped from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 1,652 cases in 2007.
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