Polio Treatment & Symptoms

Symptoms & Treatment of Polio

Polio, infantile paralysis or poliomyelitis is a disease which is commonly found in children. It is caused by infection of virus named as poliovirus. Poliovirus is affected the intestinal wall in the body.


The main cause of polio is poliovirus. It can be spread through contaminated food and water. When poliovirus enters the body, it multiplies in the intestinal tract and throat. And then it is transmitted to the central nervous system by lymph and blood. The virus damages the motor neurons, which helps carry messages between the muscles and brain, due to moves with nerve fibers.

Signs and symptoms

Nonparalytic polio

Nonparalytic polio is the main type of polio. Symptoms of this are similar to flu disease such as vomiting, sore throat, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, or fever. About 10% of people are affected by Nonparalytic polio. Other signs and symptoms include headache, stiffness, back pain, stiffness in the legs or arms, excessive fatigue, neck pain, tenderness and muscle spasms.

Paralytic polio

One percent of people affected with polio disease. It may starts with a fever. After few days, other signs and symptoms appear such as increased sensitivity to touch, severe headache, unusual sensations or back and neck stiffness.

Bulbar polio: The motor neurons are affected by virus in this type of polio. These nerves are involved in ability to hear, taste, smell, swallow and see. They also affect the intestine, heart, movement of muscles and lungs.

Spinal polio: The certain nerve cells in the spinal cord are affected by spinal polio. It may associate paralysis of the muscles that control the muscles in legs and arms.

Bulbospinal polio: This type of polio may affect swallowing, heart function and breathing. Bulbospinal polio can lead to paralysis of legs and arms.

Post-polio syndrome

Post-polio syndrome appears between 10 years and 40 years. Signs and symptoms of this form include joint and muscle pain, difficulty in sleeping, decreased tolerance of cold temperatures and general fatigue.


The health care providers can diagnosis the disease by symptoms such as abnormal reflexes, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, and back and neck stiffness. A sample of cerebrospinal fluid or throat secretions is taken by the doctor to determine the disease.


The types of treatments depend on the causes, signs and symptoms of the disease. Antibiotics for infections, moderate exercise, analgesics for pain, a nutritious diet and portable ventilators for breathing problems are supportive treatment to reduce the disease.


The polio vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease. Presently, almost children receive the doses of IPV at ages such as 2 months, 4 months, between 6 and 18 months, and between 4 to 6 years. It is very effective after two or three shots. It can not associate polio and very safe for babies with weakened immune systems.

Sometimes, IPV may cause serious allergic reactions is babies and adolescents due to vaccine includes trace amounts of the polymyxin B, antibiotics streptomycin and neomycin. Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Hives
  • High fever
  • Fast heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • hoarseness