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Poliosophobia- Fear of contracting poliomyelitis

One look at limbs shriveled and twisted by Poliomyelitis (Polio) can cause an apprehension especially when one considers that this viral disease is spread from one individual to another. Apprehension is one thing – full blown fear of contracting the disease is known as Poliosophobia.

According to the National Institute of Health, “Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. The virus spreads by direct person-to-person contact, by contact with infected mucus or phlegm from the nose or mouth, or by contact with infected feces.”

The fear of catching the disease caused many parents and grandparents to be extra diligent in safeguarding their children. In the process of due diligence they also may have unwittingly transferred their apprehension to their children who believed the caution was essential to avoid this disease. This fear can also be an extension to the fear of germs or bacteria.

The symptoms for this fear are not remarkably different from the fear of germs. In fact one might not be able to tell if a person has this specific fear because they simply seem to have an aversion to touching things.

Other symptoms include holding a hand or arm over the face in an effort to ward off germs, a refusal to share personal items or use similar items previously used by someone else, avoids public places for fear of a large collection of germs, a strong desire to flee, nausea, panic attack and elevated heart rates.

Education remains a primary component to challenging virtually all phobias. Knowing more about what you fear brings about understanding and understanding eliminates the mystery – and the mystery is often the source of the fear. If needed a therapist can help guide the patient through the reasons for the fear and help come to terms with how dangerous or problematic this fear source may actually be.