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How does polio affect the body?

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Spinal polio is the most common form. It affects movement of the muscles and causes inflammation of the nerve Cells, leading to damage or destruction of motor neuron ganglia. When spinal neurons die, Wallerian degeneration takes place, leading to weakness of those muscles. With the destruction of nerve cells, the muscles no longer receive signals from the brain or spinal cord; without nerve stimulation, the muscles atrophy, becoming weak, floppy and poorly controlled, and finally completely paralyzed, and being nociated. Progression to maximum paralysis is rapid (two to four days), and is usually associated with fever and muscle pain. The extent of spinal paralysis depends on the region of the cord affected, which may be cervical, thoracic, or lumbar. The virus may affect muscles on both sides of the body, but more often the paralysis is asymmetrical. Any limb or combination of limbs may be affected—one leg, one arm, or both legs and both arms.

Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Poliomyelitis article (authors)

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