Report Confirmed or Suspect Cases Immediately to the Local Health Department.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a very contagious disease caused by the poliovirus which lives in the throat and digestive tract and invades the nervous system. The virus is found in the stool of infected people. In its most severe form, it causes nerve injury leading to paralysis (cannot move your body), difficulty breathing and sometimes death. People become infected with polio by swallowing the virus. This can happen when infected people do not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom and then touch objects or food that may be placed in another person’s mouth. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines to prevent polio.