Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by a virus that can be transmitted from person to person. It is a nerve debilitating disease. This disease is common in children but adults can also suffer from it. Polio is a serious and potentially fatal infectious disease causing lifelong disability. The polio virus spreads from person to person and infects other people. This virus affects the brain and spinal cord of the infected person. This can result in paralysis (inability to move parts of the body). There is no cure available for it, but it can be prevented with vaccines.

Polio was present in almost all countries of the world in 1998 and all countries of the continent of Africa were severely affected by this virus. As of 2011, polio was confined to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. While India was made a polio-free country in 2011, polio has also been eradicated in Nigeria in 2014. And now polio remains only in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • Symptoms
    Most people infected with the polio virus will usually have these symptoms.
  • Sore throat.
  • fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vomiting or nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Stomach pain.

These symptoms usually go away on their own after 2 to 5 days. A smaller proportion of people with poliovirus infection affect the brain and spinal cord than other viruses with more severe symptoms.

  • Paresthesia (pins and needles sensation in the feet)
  • Meningitis (infection of the spinal cord and/or the covering of the brain)
  • Poliovirus infection occurs in about 1 in every 25 people. •Paralysis occurs in about 1 in 200 people with poliovirus infection. •Weakness or paralysis in both arms, legs, and permanent disability, and even death are the most severe symptoms associated with polio.

Within 2 days the virus makes them have difficulty breathing and also affects the muscles.

  • The spread of polio
    The Polio virus only infects humans. It is highly contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact. The virus lives in the throat and intestines of an infected person. It enters the body through the mouth and can also be spread through a sneeze or cough. Although the virus is usually spread through contact with an infected person's feces (stomach gas). Also, if you get feces on your hands, you can get the polio virus. The virus also gets on your skin by touching your mouth. which contaminates everything along with you, even if you touch a toy or an object without washing your hands in the toilet and the toy or object is somehow left in your mouth, then you will get polio.

The virus can be spread quickly from one infected person to another and the typical symptoms appear within 1 to 2 weeks. Viruses can live on an infected person's face for weeks, no matter how often you wash your mouth. It can also contaminate food and water. A person infected with polio has the disease themselves which can transmit the virus to others and make them sick.

  • Types of Polio
    There are five types of polio.
  1. Silent polio: It is common in children and in families where this disease is already present, it is called silent polio. It is present in the baby's esophagus but does not invade the digestive system and does not show symptoms.
  1. Abortive polio (Abortive polio): In this type, the attack of the virus is severe, but apart from the nervous system, other physical defects begin to develop. This type is found in the majority and can be found in children as young as 5 years old to people as old as 50 years old. Women are more likely to suffer from this type.
  1. Non-paralytic polio (Non-Paralytic polio): Nervous weakness increases in it. However, there is no permanent damage to the nervous system, only inflammation that heals later
  1. Paralytic polio: In this type, there is a severe attack on the nervous system and the nervous system stops working completely.
  1. Bulbo spinal polio: This type of virus can paralyze the infected person. In this, the respiratory system is paralyzed. Therefore, the patient becomes difficult to breathe and the facility of breathing is lost, which leads to death.
  • What are the effects of polio?
    One of the effects of polio is that one out of every 200 people infected with polio develops irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs).

Secondly, 5 to 10 percent of stroke victims die from paralysis of their respiratory muscles caused by the virus.

And thirdly, polio causes paralysis of the legs and arms which cannot be cured

And it cripples children for life. In some patients, polio can even cause death when the virus paralyzes the breathing process.

Children are given two drops of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) Door-to-door campaigns are conducted to reach every child so that no child misses two drops of polio vaccine and is protected against polio. Should be provided.

  • Prevention of polio
    The polio vaccine helps the child's body fight the polio virus and protects the child. Almost all children (99 out of 100 children) are protected against polio by taking just a few drops of the vaccine through the diet.
  • How many types of polio vaccines are there?
  • What is the difference between OPV and IPV?

The oral vaccine is called OPV. It is safe and effective and can be given multiple times. It provides long-lasting protection against the polio virus.

OPV is administered orally and does not require a healthcare professional or a sterile syringe and needle to administer. OPV is easily administered on a large scale during the frequent polio campaigns in Pakistan.

Several weeks after vaccination, the poliovirus starts growing again in the intestines and can be passed out in the stool and infect other children nearby. This means that in areas where the sanitation situation is not satisfactory, the administration of the OPV vaccine is effective for those who have not been vaccinated.

The IPV vaccine is very safe and highly effective in protecting children against polio. It produces antibodies against poliovirus in human blood and, unlike OPV, IPV has a relatively limited ability to prevent the spread of poliovirus in people. Therefore, OPV is widely used to eradicate poliovirus in endemic countries such as Pakistan. Unlike OPV, administering IPV requires trained medical personnel, sterile syringes and needles, and appropriate equipment and procedures.

A combination of OPV and IPV provides relatively increased protection against poliovirus. IPV increases immunity by entering the blood while OPV increases immunity in the guts.

In Pakistan, IPV has been introduced into routine vaccination to provide optimal protection against polio to children. During current routine vaccination, three doses of IPV are usually recommended in addition to several doses of OPV for complete protection against polio.

After polio is completely eradicated, IPV will be the only vaccine available for routine use.

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