Post-polio Syndrome

  • Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that can affect polio survivors decades after they recover from their initial poliovirus infection.
  • Unlike poliovirus, PPS is not contagious.
Tired young woman sitting on the floor leaning against her bed.

PPS affects between 25 and 40 out of every 100 polio survivors. Starting about 15 to 40 years after the initial infection, people affected by PPS can begin experiencing a set of health problems such as:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Feeling tired (mental and physical fatigue)
  • Joint pain

Some people with PPS have only minor symptoms, while others develop more visible muscle weakness and atrophy (a decrease in muscle size). PPS is rarely life-threatening, but the symptoms can make it difficult for an affected person to function independently.

For personal stories from polio survivors with PPS, see