1. If not immunised, Polio can paralyse children under 5 and may even cause death.
2. Polio disease still exists and vaccination can help to minimise the number of children affected.
WORLD POLIO DAY:
World Polio Day will be celebrated on 24th October, globally to generate awareness towards the eradication of Polio as well as to commemorate the efforts of thousands of employees
of WHO and other volunteers committed to eradication of Polio. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio can be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life.
Polio is a highly infectious disease which is not as much life threatening as it is crippling. Also known as ‘Poliomyelitis’ in medical terms, it is a disease caused by the deadly ‘Poliovirus’ usually affecting children under 5 years of age, for this reason it is also known as ‘Infantile Paralysis’. The virus mainly affects nervous system, leaving the person with a weak crippled leg and unable to walk normally throughout his life.
Though the disease is eradicated from most of the countries, it still affects some of the most marginalised sections and poorest people. The main purpose of World Polio Day is to eradicate Polio virus completely form the world and ensure vaccination of the last child belonging to the most marginal section of the society.
- Not receiving the polio vaccine is the highest risk factor for getting infected with poliovirus. The viruses are only spread human to human by direct and indirect contact.
- Symptoms and signs of polio vary from no symptoms to limb deformities, paralysis, and death.
- Diagnosis of polio is based on the patient’s history, physical exam, and on-going symptoms. The virus may be isolated from the patient’s tissues to confirm the diagnosis.
The greatest risk factor for polio is not being vaccinated. People with immunodeficiency very young individuals, pregnant females, caregivers for polio patients, travellers to areas were polio is endemic, and lab personnel who work with live polioviruses are at increased risk for polio.