Post Polio Syndrome
(The Late Effects of Polio)

Of course there have been no recent cases of polio in New Zealand. But many of those who did get polio prior to about 1961 are still around. Post polio syndrome occurs some 40 years plus after an initial occurrence of poliomyelitis.

Polio epidemics used to occur frequently until 1961. Vaccines were found by Salk and Sabin and introduced in NZ from 1957. Rotary International’s ‘End Polio Now’ campaigns have largely reduced epidemic occurrences but the risk of epidemics remains while un-vaccinated people are still present in society.

75 – 80% of polio survivors now show symptoms of post polio syndrome, or late effects of polio which may include
  • Increasing muscle weakness
  • Significant levels of fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Breathing and or swallowing difficulties
Post polio syndrome known as PPS, is caused by prolonged overuse of muscles, whose nerve supply, initially damaged in the original occurrence of polio, can no longer take the strains placed upon them. The overworked muscles then ache and the joints hurt after decades of too much work with too little muscle support, and when the muscles decide that enough is enough PPS results.
(formerly Post Polio Support Society)

POLIO NZ is an incorporated society dedicated to seeking support for people who have had poliomyelitis. It does this through information sharing and where possible, assistance to polio society members and their families, whether or not they are experiencing problems at present.

The Society's Board of Management meets regularly either physically or by telephone conference, and the annual general meeting of members is held in September. The Society's Board members are regularly lobbying and advocating for improved medical and social services for people who have had polio.

The Society's newsletter, Polio News, is published four times a year and is sent to all members.

The Society's free phone 0800 4 POLIO (0800-476-546) is available for sharing information about Post Polio Syndrome and what kind of help is available. Their website has a useful collection of resources and links.

0800 4 POLIO (0800-476-546)

  POST POLIO SYNDROME    (The Late Effects of Polio)
  Recorded at the annual Conferences of Polio NZ Inc
more here
Polio NZ Conference 2013 in Hamilton Dr Andrew Veale, Laurie Hilsgen, Anne Mace, Fiona Murdoch
more here
Polio NZ Conference 2012 in Wellington "Jega" Jegasothy
more herePost Polio Conference 2011 in New PlymouthDr Liz Falkner, Peter Sharplin, Dr Lorna Fox, Jeremy Morris, Carleen Gibbons, and members of Rotary
more herePost Polio Conference 2010 in HamiltonDoug Woolerton, JB Munro, Jeni Hawker, Wayne Hewlett
more herePost Polio Conference 2009 in WellingtonProf Richard Faull, Maggie Jack, Susan Kerr, Philippa Werry
more herePost Polio Conference 2008 in Palmerston North"Jega" Jegasothy, Dr Julian de Groot, David Guest
more herePost Polio Conference 2007 in HamiltonDr Stephen de Graff
 Videos from other Post Polio meetings
 more here "Better Sleep"  (Auckland 2013)
  (You can also watch this video on YouTube here )
Dr Andrew Veale
more here "The Aging Process & The Late Effects of Polio"
   (For Health Professionals)
"Jega" Jegasothy

All the DVDs listed above are now available from
Polio NZ, PO Box 791 New Plymouth 4340
or email to

  POLIO - Looking back
more here
The Wilson Home – The Legacy
  (You can also watch this video on YouTube here )
75th anniversary of the founding of the Wilson Home
in Takapuna, Auckland, NZ. – 20 - 22 April 2012

more here"POLIO - 50 YEARS ON"
  (You can also watch this video on YouTube here )
50th anniversary of the Salk Polio Vaccine
at the Wilson Home - 2nd November 2006
more here
Otiwhiti Station – Book Launch
  (You can also watch this video on YouTube here )
The book "Otiwhiti Station" is the story of the Duncan family. Many Polio survivors owe their recovery to the Duncan Hospital, which was started by Mr & Mrs T.A. Duncan and funded from the proceeds from the Otiwhiti Station farm in the 1940s and 1950s.

You can buy a DVD of the video from Faithnet Media ($10 post free in NZ) here

The resources on this website are provided as an information service only. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is correct, but the Faithnet Media does not accept any responsibility for action or omission based on inadvertently incorrect information included in recordings listed on this website. It is strongly recommended that persons wishing to use information obtained on this website or from these recordings for decisions about health matters, first consult their medical practitioner.

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