Polio:Prevent it

Polio is a contagious and devastating disease that was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere. It was in the most extensive form in the first half of 1990s before the polio vaccine was invented in 1955 by Jonas Salk.

It is a type of viral illness and in around 95 % of cases; it shows no symptoms at all which is known as asymptomatic polio and in the rest 5% cases, some symptoms occur which can be

  • Abortive polio in which mild symptoms of flu like infection in the upper respiratory system, fever, sore throat , diarrhea and a feeling of sickness is felt.
  • It is a more threatening form of polio known as meningitis (non-paralytic polio). In this, patients show sensitivity towards light and neck stiffness.
  • The third form is a severe form of polio, also known as, paralytic polio, which occurs in 0.1% to 2% cases.

The patients suffering from the abortive and non-paralytic polio can recover from it while, in paralytic polio, muscle paralysis occurs and may lead to death of the patients. This is because of the reason that the virus delineates from the intestinal tract and penetrates into thebloodstream, then it attacks the nerves that govern the muscles in the limb and other muscles that are indispensable for breathing and leads to difficulty in respiration and arms and legs become paralyzed.

Contagiousness of polio

As this disease is the contagiousness in nature so it is transmitted with the intake of any material that is tarnished with the virus found in stool. Also when after using the bathroom, hands are not washed properly and drinking contaminated water also leads to the transmission of this disease.

Prevention of polio

In the United States, it is recommended that every child should have four doses of IPV (inactivated polio vaccination) between the age of 2 months and 6 years.

IPV vaccine is used to stimulate the immune system of the body with the help of production of anti-bodies so that these anti-bodies can fight with the virus responsible for polio.
To eradicate the polio completely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pronounced to make IPV as the only vaccine for the prevention of Polio in United States. The current scenario is that the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend three doses of IPV which are injected before the age of 18 months and a booster of IPV is given between the ages of 4 to 6.

In case you have plans to travel outside the United States, mainly to African and Asian countries (where polio exists) then make sure that your children have taken complete doses of polio vaccinations.

Duration of the symptoms

However, the acute illness occurs for less than two weeks but the d nerves damage may last for a lifetime. In the old times, some patients lost the control to use their limbs fully. Those who recovered from it develop the chances of post-polio syndrome even after 30 to 40 years of the contraction with polio. In post-polio syndrome, the damage to the nerves accelerates the normal and gradual weakness due to age factor.

Treatment of polio

When the polio epidemic rises, than a standard treatment which involves the use of a huge machine and it is pushed and pulled towards thechest muscles to push them to work. The damaged limbs were often kept paralyzed due to the coercion of the iron lung. Ventilators and iron lungs are still used in countries where polio is still a concern.