Poliomyelitis (polio) is a serious disease caused by infection
with one of three types of poliovirus. Poliovirus is spread between
people through contact with infected faeces and throat secretions
such as saliva. Symptoms of polio can vary from mild, flu-like
symptoms to severe paralysis in the arms, legs or diaphragm (which
There is no cure for polio. The aim of treatment is to
help patients manage the effects of the disease and may include
physiotherapy and portable ventilators to help breathing.
As a result of vaccination, there has been a dramatic drop in
polio worldwide. Australia was declared polio free by the World
Health Organisation in 2000. However, the infection can still be
brought in to the country by people who have travelled to, or have
come from, countries where polio is still common.
The content of this website is currently under review.
General vaccination recommendations listed on this site may not
fully reflect the most recent advice in the 10th Edition of the
Australian Immunisation Handbook, which was released in April 2013.
Please speak to your healthcare professional for individual