What were your symptoms associated with post-polio syndrome?
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What are the symptoms of post-polio syndrome?
Symptoms include slowly progressive muscle weakness, unaccustomed fatigue (both
generalized and muscular), and, at times, muscle atrophy. Pain from
joint degeneration and increasing skeletal deformities such as scoliosis are
common. Some patients experience only minor symptoms. While less common, others
may develop visible muscle atrophy, or wasting.
Post-polio syndrome is rarely life-threatening. However, untreated
respiratory muscle weakness can result in underventilation, and weakness in
swallowing muscles can result in aspiration pneumonia.
The severity of residual weakness and disability after acute poliomyelitis
tends to predict the development of post-polio syndrome. Patients who had minimal symptoms from
the original illness will most likely experience only mild post-polio syndrome symptoms. People
originally hit hard by the poliovirus and who attained a greater recovery may
develop a more severe case of post-polio syndrome with a greater loss of muscle function and
more severe fatigue. It should be noted that many polio survivors were too young
to remember the severity of their original illness and that accurate memory
fades over time.
According to estimates by the National Center for Health Statistics, more
than 440,000 polio survivors in the United States may be at risk for post-polio syndrome.
Researchers are unable to establish a firm prevalence rate, but they estimate
that the condition affects 25 percent to 50 percent of these survivors, or
possibly as many as 60 percent, depending on how the disorder is defined and
which study is quoted.
Patients diagnosed with post-polio syndrome sometimes are concerned that they are having
polio again and are contagious to others. Studies have shown that this does not