Open all pages about Polio
Polio is caused by a virus that can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It's mainly found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Polio can be prevented by vaccination. Children in the UK are routinely vaccinated against it. You can also get vaccinated before travelling abroad.
Most people with polio do not have any symptoms or only have mild symptoms like a high temperature and headaches. Rarely, polio can cause paralysis.
Treatment for polio focuses on helping your body fight the infection and lowering the risk of long-term problems.
Some people can have long-term or lifelong problems caused by polio. These can include muscle weakness, stiff joints and swallowing difficulties.
Polio is a very rare but serious infection. It can be prevented with vaccination, but is still found in some parts of the world.
Page last reviewed: 23/05/2022
Next review due: 23/05/2025