Polio (also known as poliomyelitis) is a extremely transmittable disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Children younger than 5 years old are further probable to contract the virus than any other group. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 200 polio infections will effect in enduring paralysis.
Who gets polio?
Like various other infectious diseases, polio victims lean to be some of the most susceptible members of the population. This includes the awfully young, pregnant women, and those with immune systems that are significantly weakened by other medical conditions. Anyone who has not been immunized against polio is particularly vulnerable to contracting the infection.
Further risk factors for polio contain:
- Traveling to places where polio is endemic or widespread, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan
- Living with someone infected with polio
- Having a weak immune system
- Pregnant women are more vulnerable to polio, but it does not emerge to affect the unborn child
- Working in a laboratory where live poliovirus is kept.
Symptoms of polio
It’s predictable that 95 to 99 percent of people who contract poliovirus are asymptomatic. This is recognized as subclinical polio. Even without symptoms, people infected with poliovirus can still spread the virus and reason infection in others.
Signs and symptoms of non-paralytic polio can last from one to 10 days. These signs and symptoms can be flu-like and can include:
- sore throat
Non-paralytic polio is also known as abortive polio.
About 1 percent of polio cases can build up into paralytic polio. Paralytic polio leads to paralysis in the spinal cord (spinal polio), brainstem (bulbar polio), or both (bulbospinal polio).
Primary symptoms are related to non-paralytic polio. But after a week, more rigorous symptoms will emerge. These symptoms include:
- loss of reflexes
- ruthless spasms and muscle pain
- loose and floppy limbs, sometimes on just one side of the body
- sudden paralysis, temporary or permanent
- deformed limbs, especially the hips, ankles, and feet
It’s rare for full paralysis to develop. Less than 1 percent of all polio cases will result in permanent paralysis. In 5–10 percent of the polio paralysis cases, the virus will attack the muscles that help you breathe and cause death.
It’s probable for polio to return even after you’ve recovered. This can happen after 15 to 40 years. General symptoms of post-polio syndrome (PPS) are:
- continuing muscle and joint weakness
- muscle pain that gets worse
- becoming easily exhausted or fatigued
- muscle wasting, also called muscle atrophy
- trouble breathing and swallowing
- sleep apnea, or sleep-related breathing problems
- low tolerance of cold temperatures
- new onset of weakness in previously uninvolved muscles
- trouble with concentration and memory
Talk to your doctor if you’ve had polio and are starting to see these symptoms. It’s predictable that 25 to 50 percent of people who survived polio will get PPS. PPS can’t be caught by others having this disorder. Treatment involves supervision strategies to develop your eminence of life and decrease pain or fatigue.
How can we prevent polio?
The best way to put off polio is by vaccination. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is given as a shot and, since 2000, is the only kind of polio vaccine obtainable in the United States. Children should be given four doses of IPV vaccine starting at 2 months of age. Your doctor will diagnose polio by looking at your symptoms. They’ll execute a physical examination and look for impaired reflexes, back and neck stiffness, or complexity lifting your head while lying flat.
The most general treatments include:
- painkillers to relieve headaches, muscle aches, and muscle spasms.
- antibiotics for urinary tract infections.
- portable ventilators to help with breathing.
- physical therapy and/or corrective braces to help with walking.
- heating pads or warm towels to ease muscle aches and spasms.