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How do you contract polio disease?

Page last updated 10 July 2018

Polio enters the body through the mouth and is spread by contact with food, liquids, objects or people contaminated with the poliovirus.

Symptoms can develop up to 3 weeks after coming into contact with the virus and people are generally most infectious 7-10 days before and after the beginning of symptoms. People remain contagious for as long as the virus continues to be excreted in their faeces (poo), which can be up to 6 weeks.

Sources & Citations

  1. New South Wales Government Health. Poliomyelitis fact sheet. Available at:  (accessed 15 April 2018).
  2. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Polio and post-polio syndrome. Available at:  (accessed 15 April 2018).
  3. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Global Health. What Is Polio? Available at: (accessed 08 May 2018).

SPANZ.IPV.18.04.0155a - Date of preparation May 2018