Polio

What is polio?

Polio (also known as poliomyelitis) is a disease caused by the poliovirus. Polio initially manifests itself as a flu-like illness, however as it progresses, it can affect the central nervous system and cause life-threatening muscle paralysis. Decades after the initial infection, there is a risk of "post-polio syndrome", which manifests itself in muscle weakness, muscle pain and chronic fatigue.

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When and how often should I be vaccinated against polio?

Vaccination against polio is part of the Swiss vaccination campaign and is recommended for every person in Switzerland. Usually, the vaccination is given in childhood and is no longer necessary in adulthood, unless one travels to countries where poliovirus outbreaks occur. If one never received the vaccination as a child, the vaccination should be given, since polio is also dangerous for adults. For catch-up vaccination in adulthood, a total of 3 vaccinations are recommended.

Price:
28-75 CHF per dose
plus consultation and injection fee

What else should I know about polio?

  • Worldwide, 2 of the 3 original polioviruses have already been eradicated. Poliovirus type 1 can still be found in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Malawi in 2022. Unfortunately, there continue to be polio outbreaks in Africa and Southeast Asia with a poliovirus that was previously used for vaccination. This poliovirus was harmless several decades ago, but can now cause a severe illness. Vaccination is therefore recommended when traveling to these countries.

  • The respirator known as the "iron lung" was used extensively in the early 20th century for people suffering from polio. Its manufacture was discontinued in the 1970s.

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