Although some people think "polio does not exist anymore," even now the polio virus is causing poliomyelitis in under-vaccinated children. You may live in a country that is trying to eradicate the polio virus and where there are barriers to education, employment, and health care for survivors. You may live where cases of acute polio no longer occur, but where you have to challenge the status quo that excludes people with disabilities from full participation in life, for you, polio still exists.
There are Long-Term Physical Consequences to Having had Polio.
New symptoms recognized by the medical community that may relate to prior polio include:
unaccustomed fatigue-either rapid muscle tiring or feeling of total body exhaustion
new weakness in muscles, both those seemingly unaffected
pain in muscles and/or joints
sleeping problems; breathing or swallowing problems
decreased ability to conduct customary daily activities such as climbing stairs, walking, lifting, etc.
Obtain a complete general medical evaluation from your primary care physician. Any medical problems found in the evaluation should be treated and monitored.
If your symptoms persist, seek a neuromuscular examination from a specialist in post-polio problems, typically a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (physiatrist) or a neurologist. The purpose of this examination is to determine what the problem is and to establish a baseline from which to judge future changes, and to evaluate and update your mobility aids.
Polio is caused by any of three types of the polio virus. The major illness types include non-paralytic and paralytic polio The polio virus damages motor nerve cells and the muscles instructed by those nerves are temporarily or permanently paralyzed. Acute polio does not infect sensory nerves, so sensation is not affected. Paralytic polio can be classified as spinal, bulbar, or spino-bulbar. Bulbar is the most serious form of polio and involves the part of the brain dealing with the vital functions of respiration and swallowing.