While the majority of those infected won’t have any symptoms, one in four can exhibit many flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, fever, fatigue and headache (not an exhaustive list). People with these signs will likely feel better in under a week, but a small proportion of the infected can experience paresthesia, meningitis, or paralysis — these affect the spinal cord and / or brain as well as nervous system.
The virus can be spread from the infected before the appearance of symptoms, and two weeks afterward, though the virus can live in the body for weeks. The most vulnerable of the population are children under five, though no one is entirely safe from the virus.
It actually prompted the invention of the Iron Lung in 1930, which was supposed to help people whose lungs were infected. Prior to 1955 when the Salk vaccine was introduced, tens of thousands of Canadians were left crippled and paralyzed from the virus. Though, in 1959 about 2,000 Canadians were left paralyzed from the virus.
In 1979, in the Philippines, Rotary International announced their mission to eradicate this paralyzing disease and has since reduced its global presence by 99.9%.
According to their website, countless voluntary hours and well over $2 billion in efforts have saved more than three billion children in 122 countries. Their voice was heard all the way up the government chain where $10 billion was dispensed toward the effort.