Saturday, November 5, 2016

What is Polio?

Polio is a disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system and is mainly spread by person-to-person contact. Polio can also be spread by drinking water or other drinks or eating raw or undercooked food that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person.
Most people with polio do not feel sick. Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs. Most people recover completely. In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function in the arms or legs (usually the legs) or if there is loss of function of the muscles used for breathing or infection of the brain, death can occur.
New: Polio Vaccine Requirements
If you are traveling to one of the following countries (that has active spread of poliovirus in the past 12 months) for more than 4 weeks, the government of the country may require you to show proof of polio vaccination when you are exiting that country: Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Guinea, Laos, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Ukraine. (This list may change frequently.) Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this requirement.
If you get the polio vaccine before traveling to one of the countries listed above, you should be given a yellow card called the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (IVCP) that states when you were vaccinated.
From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, polio crippled around 35,000 people each year in the United States alone, making it one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century. By 1979, the United States was polio free. For more information about polio and how it was eliminated in the United States, see A Polio-Free US Thanks to Vaccine Efforts.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988, with CDC as a leading partner to stop the spread of polio. Substantial progress has been made in recent years, and only 3 countries remain where polio has never been stopped: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The affected areas in these 3 countries have become smaller. However, polio has been exported to countries that have previously been polio-free, and 7 other countries have had cases of wild poliovirus and spread of polio in the last 12 months. Until polio is stopped everywhere, even polio-free countries are at risk for outbreaks.

Who is at risk?

Travelers going to certain parts of Africa and Asia may be at risk for polio. Everyone should be up-to-date with their routine polio vaccination series. In addition, a one-time adult polio vaccine booster dose is recommended for travelers to certain countries. See individual destination pages for vaccine recommendation information.

What can travelers do to prevent polio?

Get the polio vaccine:

  • Ask your doctor or nurse to find out if you are up-to-date with your polio vaccination and whether you need a booster dose before traveling. Even if you were vaccinated as a child or have been sick with polio before, you may need a booster dose to make sure that you are protected. See individual destination pages for vaccine recommendation information.
woman getting vaccination
  • Make sure children are vaccinated.

Eat safe foods and drink safe beverages:

Follow the Food and Water Safety tips to avoid exposure to any food and drinks that could be contaminated with the feces of a person infected with polio.

Practice hygiene and cleanliness:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who are sick.

If you feel sick and think you may have polio:

  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
  • Avoid contact with other people while you are sick.
    • Do not prepare or serve food to other people.
  • credit/source:

Another article about Polio:

Polio (also known as poliomyelitis) is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Children younger than 5 years old are more likely to contract the virus than any other group.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 200 polio infections will result in permanent paralysis. However, thanks to the global polio eradication initiative in 1988, the following regions are now certified polio-free:
  • Americas
  • Europe
  • Western Pacific
  • Southeast Asia
The polio vaccine was developed in 1953 and made available in 1957. Since then cases of 
polio have dropped in United States.
But polio is still persistent in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Eliminating polio will benefit
 the world in terms of health and economy. The eradication of polio can save
 at least $40–50 billion over the next 20 years.

What are the symptoms of polio?

It’s estimated that 95 to 99 percent of people who contract
 poliovirus are asymptomatic. This is known as subclinical
 polio. Even without symptoms, people infected with poliovirus
 can still spread the virus and cause infection in others.

Non-paralytic polio

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:
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • meningitis
Non-paralytic polio is also known as abortive polio.

Paralytic polio

About 1 percent of polio cases can develop into paralytic polio. Paralytic polio leads to paralysis in the spinal cord (spinal polio), brainstem (bulbar polio), or both (bulbospinal polio).
Initial symptoms are similar to non-paralytic polio. But after a week, more severe symptoms
will appear. These symptoms include:
  • loss of reflexes
  • severe 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.

Post-polio syndrome

It’s possible for polio to return even after you’ve recovered.
 This can occur after 15 to 40 years. Common 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
  • depression
  • trouble with concentration and memory
Talk to your doctor if you’ve had polio and are starting to see these symptoms. It’s estimated
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 management strategies to improve your quality of life and reduce pain or

How does the poliovirus infect someone?

As a highly contagious virus, polio transmits through contact
 with infected feces. Objects like toys that have come near
infected feces can also transmit the virus. Sometimes it can
transmit through a sneeze or a cough, as the virus lives
 in the throat and intestines. This is less common.
People living in areas with limited access to running water or
 flush toilets often contract polio from drinking water
contaminated by infected human waste. According to the
Mayo Clinic, the virus is so contagious that anyone living with someone who has the virus
 can catch it too.
Pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems — such as those who are
HIV-positive — and young children are the most susceptible to the poliovirus.
If you have not been vaccinated, you can increase your risk of contracting polio when you:
  • travel to an area that has had a recent polio outbreak
  • take care of or live with someone infected with polio
  • handle a laboratory specimen of the virus
  • have your tonsils removed
  • have extreme stress or strenuous activity after exposure to the virus

How do doctors diagnose polio?

Your doctor will diagnose polio by looking at your symptoms. They’ll perform a physical examination and look for impaired reflexes, back and neck stiffness, or difficulty lifting your head while lying flat.
Labs will also test a sample of your throat, stool, or cerebrospinal fluid for the poliovirus.

How do doctors treat polio?

Doctors can only treat the symptoms while the infection runs
 its course. But since there’s no cure, the best way to treat
polio is to prevent it with vaccinations.
The most common supportive treatments include:
  • bed rest
  • painkillers
  • antispasmodic drugs to relax muscles
  • antibiotics for urinary tract infections
  • portable ventilators to help with breathing
  • physical therapy or corrective braces to help with walking
  • heating pads or warm towels to ease muscle aches and spasms
  • physical therapy to treat pain in the affected muscles
  • physical therapy to address breathing and pulmonary problems
  • pulmonary rehabilitation to increase lung endurance
In advanced cases of leg weakness, you may need a wheelchair or other mobility device.

How to prevent polio

The best way to prevent polio is to get the vaccination.
Children should get polio shots according to the vaccination
schedule presented by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CDC vaccination schedule
2 monthsOne dose
4 monthsOne dose
6 to 18 monthsOne dose
4 to 6 yearsBooster dose

Polio vaccine prices for children

On rare occasions these shots can cause mild or severe allergic reactions, such as:
  • breathing problems
  • high fever
  • dizziness
  • hives
  • swelling of throat
  • rapid heart rate
Adults in the United States aren’t at high risk for contracting polio.
The greatest risk is when traveling to an area where polio is still common.
 Make sure to get a series of shots before you travel.

Polio vaccinations around the world

Overall, cases of polio have dropped by 99 percent. Only 74 cases
were reported in 2015.
Polio still persists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

From the history of polio to now

Polio is a highly contagious virus that can result in spinal cord and
 brainstem paralysis. It most commonly affects children under 5 years old.
Cases of polio peaked in the United States in the 1952 with 57,623
reported cases. Since the Polio Vaccination Assistance Act,
the United States has been polio-free since 1979.
While many other countries are also certified polio-free, the virus
is still active in countries that haven’t started immunization campaigns.
 According to WHO, even one confirmed case of polio puts children in all
countries at risk.
Afghanistan is set to start its immunization campaign for early October
 and November of 2016. National and Subnational Immunization Days
 are planned and ongoing for countries in West Africa. You can stay up
to date with case breakdowns on The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s

All data and information are all credit  to both original writers' sourcesa and references. 
If symptoms persist consult your doctor