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Auckland Post Polio Support Group (Inc.)

Poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis) has been eradicated from nearly every country in the world since the development of the Salk (1955) and Sabin (1961) vaccines. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has targeted the year 2009 for the complete eradication of acute poliomyelitis.

The WHO estimates there are 12 million people worldwide with some degree of disability caused by poliomyelitis. For years most of these polio survivors lived active lives, their health status stable. By the late '70s, polio survivors were noting new problems of fatigue, pain and additional weakness. By the mid '80s, health professionals and policy-makers recognised these new problems as being real and not "only in the patients' minds". Studies on this phenomenon, called "late effects of polio, post polio sequelae or post polio syndrome" have been - and are still being - conducted in research institutions and medical centres.

Symptoms Can Include:

  • Unaccustomed fatigue - either rapid muscle tiring or feeling of total body exhaustion.
  • New weakness in muscles, both those originally affected and those seemingly unaffected.
  • Pain in muscle and/or joints.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Swallowing problems.
  • Decreased ability to tolerate cold temperatures.
  • Decline in ability to conduct customary daily activities such as walking, bathing, etc.

These general symptoms are experienced in varying degrees and their progression can be insidious. They should not be dismissed simply as signs of aging alone. Current research indicates that the length of time one has lived with the residuals of polio is as much of a risk factor as chronological age. It also appears that individuals who experienced the most severe original paralysis, with the greatest functional recovery, are having no more problems now than others with less severe original involvement.

Doreen Chandler, President, QSO.

Contact details

Address: 36 Eastern Beach Rd, Bucklands Beach, Auckland 2012
Phone: (09) 534 6151
Fax: (09) 537 3104
Hours: Anytime
Email: Send a message[email protected]
Entry criteria
Open entry