Poliomyelitis – What is it, Causes and Treatments

Poliomyelitis – What is it, Causes and Treatments of this disease that affects many children . Furthermore, Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Children under the age of 5 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: America, Europe, the Western Pacific, and Southeast Asia.

The polio vaccine was developed in 1953 and made available in 1957. Since then, polio cases have dropped in the United States. Poliomyelitis  is a viral disease  that can affect the nerves and lead to partial or complete paralysis. Although it is also called infantile paralysis, the disease can affect both children and adults.

Causes of Poliomyelitis: Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by poliovirus infection, which is spread by direct person-to-person contact and also by contact with infected mucus, phlegm or feces. The virus enters through the mouth and nose and multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract. From there, it reaches the bloodstream and can reach the brain.

When the infection attacks the nervous system, it destroys the motor neurons and causes paralysis in the lower limbs. Polio can even lead to death if the nerve cells that control breathing and swallowing muscles are infected.

The incubation period of the virus , that is, the time it takes between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms , varies from five to 35 days, but the average is one to two weeks. Poliovirus can be transmitted through contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infected person.

Symptoms of Polio: Although poliocan cause paralysis and even death, most people infected with the poliovirus do not get sick and have no symptoms , so the illness often goes unnoticed.

Polio treatments: Doctors can only treat symptoms while the infection is running. But since there is no cure, the best way to treat polio  is to prevent it with vaccines. The most common supportive treatments include:

  • bed rest
  • Analgesics
  • Antispasmodic drugs to relax muscles
  • Antibiotics for urinary tract infections
  • Portable ventilators to help with breathing
  • Physical therapy or corrective devices to help with walking
  • Heating pads or hot towels to relieve muscle pain and spasms
  • Physiotherapy to treat pain in affected muscles
  • Physiotherapy to address respiratory and lung problems
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation to increase pulmonary resistance
  • In advanced cases of leg weakness, you may need a wheelchair or other mobility device.

Note: The best way to prevent Polio is to get vaccinated. Children should receive polio shots according to the vaccination schedule presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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