What Is Polio?
Polio (also known as poliomyelitis) is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Children younger than 5 years old are more likely to contract the virus than any other group.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in 200 polio infections will result in permanent paralysis. However, the disease has been largely irradiated thanks to the development of a polio vaccine. The most recent WHO poll, in 2010, reported only 1,352 cases of polio worldwide. (WHO)
Thanks to the polio vaccine, the U.S. has not had a reported case of polio since 1979. However, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria still have frequent outbreaks.