Poliomyelitis, also known as polio or infantile paralysis, is a highly infectious yet preventable viral disease that destroys spinal cord nerves, weakening or paralyzing muscles by eating away at the protective neural covering (myelin sheath). Transmitted through person-to-person contact, mucous, feces, and contaminated water or food, children and people who have not been immunized are at risk. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, headache, stiffness in the neck, and paralysis, which usually occur in the muscles of the legs, head, arms, and diaphragm.
Many, but not all affected people recover, though there is no cure. Post-polio syndrome can occur years later, interfering with one’s ability to function independently by weakening muscles responsible for walking, breathing, swallowing, sleeping, and everyday functions.
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The Nerve Disorders Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of peripheral nerve disorders clinicians including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals.