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Who is at highest risk for suffering complications from Polio?


Most people infected with the poliovirus show no clinical signs of illness. Fewer than 1 percent of persons infected with polio develop paralysis, the most severe complication of polio and many who develop paralysis recover with few or no permanent residual adverse health conditions. 1

Bulbar polio, the most severe and rarest form of paralytic polio (1-2 percent of all cases of paralytic polio), involves the cranial nerves and usually results in permanent paralysis with death in 25 to 75 percent of cases.2

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Polio and the Polio vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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1 Mehndiratta MM, Mehndiratta P, Pande R Poliomyelitis Historical Facts, Epidemiology, and Current Challenges in Eradication Neurohospitalist. 2014 Oct; 4(4): 223–229

2 CDC Poliomyelitis – Clinical Features Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

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