What is Polio?

The Disease

Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5.

Most know it as poliovirus. The virus is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and our partners use to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.

The Facts

  • Polio mainly affects children under the age of 5.
  • There is no cure, but polio is preventable with a vaccine.
  • Only three countries remain endemic.
  • We’ve reduced cases by 99.9% since 1988.
  • Until we end polio forever, every child is at risk.


End Polio – https://www.endpolio.org/

Polio Global Eradication Initiative – http://polioeradication.org/

Rotary International – https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/ending-polio