An infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Infectious diseases such as whooping cough, encephalitis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, rabies, tetanus, syphilis, and botulism rarely are seen now but can cause vocal cord paralysis.
- The viral disease known as poliomyelitis is highly infectious and can cause total paralysis and even death.
- Other common diseases include schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, and pneumonia.
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek polios 'gray' + muelos 'marrow'.
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