• An infection caused by a virus that affects the whole body including muscles and nerves.

Signs and Symptoms

  • In most cases (95%) there are no symptoms.
  • A small number of people may have fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain and diarrhea.
  • Individuals may also report severe muscle aches, tiredness and stiffness in the neck and back.
  • It is important to report these symptoms right away as the virus can cause nerve damage and lead to paralysis.


  • The virus is found in saliva and feces (stool) of sick people.
  • Spread by direct contact with sick persons or through the air when a sick person talks, coughs or sneezes.
  • It is also spread by food, water and hands contaminated with infected feces.


  • There is no medication to treat polio.


  • Severe cases may cause permanent paralysis (loss of movement) or even death.


  • Polio can be prevented through vaccination
  • Vaccination has gotten rid of polio in Canada but it is still in other parts of the world

Polio is a reportable disease and must be reported to the local Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.