DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Polio is a contagious viral illness that in its most severe form causes paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death.
In the U.S., the last case of naturally occurring polio happened in 1979. Today, despite a concerted global eradication campaign, poliovirus continues to affect children and adults in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises taking precautions to protect against polio if you're traveling anywhere there's a risk of polio. If you're a previously vaccinated adult who plans to travel to an area where polio is occurring, you should receive a booster dose of inactivated poliovirus (IPV). Immunity following a booster dose lasts a lifetime.
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