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Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease. It is caused by the virus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body).

Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.

A smaller proportion of people with polio virus infection will develop other more serious symptoms that affect the brain and spinal cord. Paralysis is the most severe symptom associated with the poliomyelitis because it can lead to permanent disability and death.