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Poliomelitis Vall d'Hebron


Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by any of the three human poliovirus serotypes, which are part of the enterovirus family. Europe was certified free of poliomyelitis in June 2002. Immunisation and vigilance of the disease continue to ensure the region is free of poliomyelitis. Post-polio syndrome has no defined causal mechanism but it affects between 20% and 80% of patients afflicted with poliomyelitis.



Initial symptoms are those of a influenza-like illness (fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, among other things) and can last up to 10 days. Its most serious forms may cause respiratory paralysis leading to death. Post-polio syndrome presents a new neurological weakness that may be progressive or abrupt on muscles previously affected or unaffected. It may or may not be accompanied by new health problems such as excessive fatigue, muscle pain, pain in the joints, intolerance to cold, reduced physical stamina and function, and atrophy.

Who is affected by the condition

It mainly affects children and the mechanisms for its transmission may be through faecal-oral channels or a common vehicle (contaminated water or food).

Post-polio syndrome affects patients who have had poliomyelitis for 20 years or more.


Diagnosis is given clinically, supplemented with laboratory and electromyographic (EMG) tests.

Standard treatment

Symptomatic treatment with analgaesics, a ventilator where necessary, gentle exercise and possibility of orthopaedic devices to prevent deformities or to enable function.

Standard tests

In acute diagnoses, studying secretions, stools and cerebrospinal fluid. EMG in acute and later stages for diagnosing post-polio syndrome.


Poliomyelitis has no cure but it can be prevent by vaccination.



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Dr. Xavier
Montalban Gairín
Head of Department
Clinical neuroimmunology
Dr. José
Álvarez Sabín
Head of Department
Dr. Luis
Coronel Tarancón
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Dra. Judith
Sanchez Raya
Head of Department
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Sra. Pilar
Meler Amella
Sra. Ana Elena
Ruiz Alcaraz
Nursing Supervisor
Internal Medicine
Sra. Nadia
Puertas Porrino
Sra. Laura
Yague Velasco
Nursing Supervisor
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Sra. Isabel María
Garlito Pérez
Nursing Supervisor
Clinical Neurophysiology
Sr. Alex
Ginés Puertas
Person in charge/Coordinator
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Sra. Julia
Salvador Lodosa
Nursing Supervisor
Internal Medicine
Dra. Cristina
Soler Lladó
Internal Medicine
Dr. Josep