Polio

What is polio?

Polio is an infection that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord. It can cause paralysis and difficulty breathing. Polio is most commonly found in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

How is polio spread?

Polio is spread by direct contact with an infected person through food, water or hands contaminated with human feces (stool) can spread the polio disease.

What are the symptoms of polio?

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Neck and back stiffness
  • Muscle weakness and pain

How can I prevent getting polio?

The best way to not get polio is to get immunized. The polio vaccine is safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the disease. When you get immunized you help protect others as well. There is no cure for polio, so preventing the disease is very important.

Who should get the polio vaccine?

The polio vaccine is given to infants and children as part of their routine immunizations. The vaccine is often combined with other vaccines. This is an effective way to receive protection from several diseases with one shot. Learn more about who should get the polio vaccine.

Get immunized against polio by making an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist (for those 5 years and older) or Public Health. If you are travelling to a country where the polio virus is circulating, talk to your doctor or visit a travel clinic about getting vaccinated.

To book an immunization appointment with Public Health:

Residents of Fraser East (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope), call 604-702-4906

Residents in any other area of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087 

Resources

For more information on polio and the polio vaccine, go to:

I Need To...