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What is polio?

Polio (Poliomyelitis), also known as child paralysis, is a virus disease that causes inflammation in the gray matter of the spinal cord. Polio is an insidious disease that shows no symptoms in 95% of the cases but is still spread.

Due to, among other things, poor hygiene, the virus is transmitted to other people. Muscle paralysis occurs in the unfortunate 1% of infected cases. This is especially the case with the type 1 poliovirus.

As soon as the virus enters the chronic phase, the paralysis is incurable, resulting in permanent muscle weakness. Growing children also get malformations because affected limbs can no longer develop normally or are warped by still functioning muscles. When the respiratory muscles become paralyzed, polio leads to death. As people get older at the time of infection, the chance of such an outcome increases.

Polio and contamination can be prevented by preventive vaccination and good hygiene. Since 1988 (the start of the World Health Organization campaign), the number of polio incidents has fallen by 99%.

Although there is still 1% to go, wars or conflicts can hinder vaccination against polio. We are "this close" to wipe out polio forever. Do you help?

You can find all about the fight agains polio at:

Top 5 reasons to end polio now

  • To improve lives

  • To invest in the future

  • To improve child health

  • To save money

  • To make history