Post-Polio Syndrome Resources of Louisiana is a Web site with a great deal of information and assistance for sufferers of this debilitating condition. As stated on the Web site:
Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that can strike polio survivors anywhere from 10 to 40 years after recovery from an initial attack of the poliomyelitis virus. PPS is characterized by a further weakening of muscles that were previously injured by polio infection. Symptoms include fatigue, slowly progressive muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, and muscular atrophy. Some patients experience only minor symptoms, while others develop spinal muscular atrophy or what appears to be, but is not, a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. PPS is rarely life-threatening.
The extent to which polio survivors will suffer from PPS depends on how seriously they were affected by the first polio attack. Patients who had only minimal symptoms from the original attack and subsequently develop PPS will most likely experience only mild PPS symptoms. People originally hit hard by the polio virus may develop a more severe case of PPS with a greater loss of muscle function, difficulty in swallowing, and more periods of fatigue.
More than 300,000 polio survivors in the United States may be at risk for PPS. Doctors are unable to establish a firm incidence rate, but they estimate that the condition affects 25 percent to 50 percent of these survivors, or possibly more depending on how the disorder is defined.