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Diagnosing Polio

When diagnosing polio, doctors will ask a number of questions about your symptoms, current medical conditions, and family history of medical conditions. The doctor may also order certain tests that look for the virus or antibodies the body has made against the poliovirus. Because there are a number of diseases and conditions that are similar to polio in signs and symptoms (such as diphtheria and myasthenia gravis), the doctor will consider these conditions before diagnosing polio.

An Overview of Diagnosing Polio

In order to make a polio diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions about your medical history, including questions about:
 
  • Symptoms
  • Current medical conditions
  • Current medications
  • Family history of medical conditions.
 
The doctor will also perform a physical exam to look for signs and symptoms of polio.
 

Tests Used for Diagnosing Polio

If the doctor suspects polio disease, he or she will order certain tests that will help to make the diagnosis. These tests will look for the virus or antibodies the body has made against the poliovirus. In order to perform these polio tests, a stool sample or a throat swab may be taken.
 

Diagnosing Polio or Other Medical Conditions

There are a number of diseases that are similar to polio in signs and symptoms. The doctor will consider these conditions before diagnosing polio. Some of these conditions include:
 

Information on Polio

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