Causes/ Transmission Poliomyelitis also known as Polio is a viral disease. Spread through direct person-to person contact by means of mucus, phlegm, or infected feces. Commonly found in developing countries such as Africa, Asia and places with poor sanitation/hygiene.
Countries that report cases of polio…
Those effected: Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly are most effected by this disease. Usually is most prevalent in the summer and fall.
Signs and Symptoms: Subclinical infections- sore throat, slight fever, headache, last for 72 hours. 95% of polio infections are subclinical. Clinical infections: effects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and is divided into non-paralytic and paralytic. Non-paralytic symptoms include stiff neck, fever, soreness which all last about 1-2 weeks. Paralytic symptoms are more sever with more sensitivity to areas of the body and muscle spasms in the back of the leg.
Muscles effected by polio… Legs Arm Back Hands Shoulder Hip lungs
How do you get it? The disease enters the environment through feces and poor sanitation/hygiene. Transmitted through person-to-person and stays in the intestines. Only 1 in every 200 people show signs of paralytic symptoms. The incubation period is between 5-35 days with the average being around 7-14 days.
Life cycle of Polio…
Pathophysiology: The polio virus is detected through samples of either the feces or from the mouth. Polio is preventable, the average person is vaccinated for life after receiving multiple shots as a small child and usually protect against the disease 90% of the time. Those that don’t get vaccinated run the risk of getting the virus which is often times chronic in about 5% of the cases. The other 95% of subclinical polio lead to future medical problems such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, weakness in legs/muscles, etc.
Dr. Albert Sabin As millions of people became infected with the disease it wasn’t until April 1955 that the “live polio” vaccine was made public thanks to the research of Dr. Albert Sabin and his colleges at University of Pittsburg Medical School.
Iron Lung: In server cases of polio the respiratory muscles can be damaged, this type of polio is known as bulbar polio. Only found in extremely rare cases, the motor neurons of the brain are attacked by the poliovirus. Can reduce breathing and cause painful swallowing and speaking.
The Iron lung…
Treatment: In most cases the best treatment is to allow the virus to run its course while controlling the symptoms with physical therapy and heat treatments.
More on Polio… YouTube - Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine YouTube - Polio Vaccine - Vaccines and Your Baby - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (11 of 14)