Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious viral disease passed from person to person. It invades the nervous system and can paralyze a person within hours. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and neck stiffness. Polio mainly affects children under 3. Before the polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, tens of thousands of U.S. children per year developed paralytic polio. Only the inactive polio vaccine (IPV), made from dead polio virus, is used in the U.S. Starting at 2 months of age, all U.S. children receive four doses of IPV. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage of polio, its history, the risk it poses, preventive vaccines, and much more.
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Find out what vaccinations are recommended for your preteen and teenager..
Polio Vaccine (IPV): When to Get Vaccinated
WebMD explains why the polio vaccine (IPV) is important, who should get it and when, and possible risks and side effects.
Immunizations and Vaccines
Think you don't need immunization against infectious diseases? Think again. Learn why we -- and our children -- still need regular vaccinations.
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Spinal cord injuries can affect the major bundle of nerves carrying signals to and from the brain to the rest of the body. Learn more.
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Does the private right of parents to not vaccinate their kids trump the greater public good?
Get an 'A' in Vaccines
Vaccines have proved so successful in eliminating their target diseases that some parents of school-aged children have gotten a bit lax about completing the complicated battery of injections.
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These breakthrough drugs made medicine modern.