The Top 20 Deadliest Diseases in the World
Polio 10,000 Deaths since 1916
Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route. The term derives from the Greek polio (??????), meaning “grey”, myelon (µ?????), “spinal cord”, and -itis, which denotes inflammation. Although roughly 90% of polio infections are asymptomatic, affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream. In less than 1% of polio cases the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis.