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World Polio Day on Oct 24th

by The Welthi Bureau October 24th, 2021

world polio day on oct 24th
 Image used for representational purpose only

Dr. Manoj Kumar, Consultant Paediatrics , KIMS ICON, Vizag

 

Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease caused by polio virus. There is muscle weakness resulting in flaccid paralysis. The weakness most often involves the legs, but may less commonly involve the muscles of head, neck and diaphragm.

Epidemiology:

 

The last remaining region with wild polio cases are the South Asian countries Afghanistan and Pakistan. The last case of polio in India was in January 2011. In February 2012 the country was taken off the WHO list of polio endemic countries. On 27 March 2014, the world health organization (WHO) declared India a polio free country, since no cases of wild polio been reported in for five years

 

Signs and symptoms:

 

Two basic patterns of polio infection are described: a minor illness which does not involve the central nervous system, sometimes called abortive poliomyelitis, and a major illness involving the CNS, which may be paralytic or nonparalytic.  Rarely, the infection produces minor symptoms; these may include sore throat, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation and flu-like illness.

Cause:

 

Poliomyelitis is caused by infection with a member of the genus Enterovirus known as polio virus. The incubation time ranges from three to 35 days, with a more common span of six to 20 days.  Three serotypes of poliovirus have been identified – poliovirus type 1 (PV1), type 2 (PV2), and type 3 (PV3) – each with a slightly different capsid protein. 

 

Transmission:

 

Poliomyelitis is highly contagious via the fecal-oral and the oral-oral routes.  The incubation period is usually 6 to 20 days. The disease is transmitted primarily via the fecal oral route by ingesting contaminated food or water. Polio is most infectious between 7 and 10 days before and after the appearance of symptoms.

Diagnosis:

 

Paralytic poliomyelitis may be clinically suspected in individuals experiencing acute onset of flaccid paralysis in one or more limbs with decreased or absent tendon reflexes in the affected limbs that cannot be attributed to another apparent cause, and without sensory or cognitive loss.

 

A laboratory diagnosis is usually made based on the recovery of poliovirus from a stool sample or a swab of the pharynx. Antibodies to poliovirus can be diagnostic, and are generally detected in the blood of infected patients early in the course of infection. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) reveals an increased number of white blood cells. Detection of virus in the CSF is diagnostic of paralytic polio but rarely occurs.

 

If poliovirus is isolated from a patient experiencing acute flaccid paralysis, it is further tested to determine whether it is wild type or vaccine type. It is important to determine the sources of the virus because for each reported case of paralytic polio caused by wild poliovirus, an estimated 3,000 other contagious asymptomatic carriers exist.

 

Prevention:

 

There are two kinds of polio vaccine —oral polio vaccine (OPV), which uses weakened poliovirus and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is injected. The OPV is less expensive and easier to administer, and can spread immunity beyond the person vaccinated, creating contact immunity. Being inactivated, the IPV is free of these risks but does not induce contact immunity. Most countries have switched to inactivated polio vaccine, which cannot revert, either as the sole vaccine against poliomyelitis or in combination with oral polio vaccine.

 

Treatment:

 

There is no cure for polio, but there are treatments. Treatment of polio often requires long-term rehabilitation, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, braces, corrective shoes and, in some cases, orthopedic surgeries. Heat and physical therapy can be used to stimulate the muscles and antispasmodic drugs are used to relax the affected muscles. This can improve mobility but does not reverse permanent polio paralysis.

 

Prognosis:

 

Patients with abortive polio infections recover completely. In those who develop only aseptic meningitis there are chances of complete recovery. In cases of spinal polio, if the affected nerve cells are completely destroyed, paralysis will be permanent.

 

Pulse polio:

 

Pulse Polio is an immunization campaign established by the government of India to eliminate polio by vaccinating all children under the age of five years.   As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 2, 00,000 new cases every year.

 


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