What causes polio?

Discovery Health

Polio is caused by poliovirus poliomyelitis, which takes aim at the human nervous system. The disease spreads though fecal matter, frequently passing on to others through contaminated water or food.

Polio is caused by poliovirus, a highly contagious virus. The virus is found in human waste and is spread through infected objects coming in contact with your mouth. The virus can spread quickly in a single household and even faster in areas where the living conditions and fresh water are compromised. This infection has been eliminated in developed areas with the widespread use of the polio vaccine. However in countries that do not have access to clean water and sanitary conditions, and where much of the population is not vaccinated, it still spreads at a rapid pace.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.