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Polio - Symptoms & Treatment


Polio (also called poliomyelitis ) is a contagious, historically devastating disease that was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere in the second half of the 20th century. PPS is mainly characterized by new weakening in muscles that were previously affected by the polio infection and in muscles that seemingly were unaffected. In 1921, the future president lost the use of his legs after contracting poliomyelitis (polio), a contagious viral illness that in its most severe form causes paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death. At the height of the polio epidemic in 1952, nearly 60,000 cases with more than 3,000 deaths were reported in the United States alone. His wife, Eleanor, would later remark that "the thing that took (the) most courage in his life was his mastery and his meeting of polio." By the mid-1950s, mass immunizations began to slow polio's spread, and in 1979 the last case of wild polio that is, polio not caused by a vaccine occurred in the United States. Today, despite a concerted global eradication campaign, polio continues to afflict children and adults in other parts of the world, especially west and central Africa and India.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. In about 95 percent of polio cases, infection from the polio virus causes no symptoms or serious effects. It can also be passed by close contact, such as kissing, with an infected person. Polio is a serious illness. Symptoms include slowly progressive muscle weakness, unaccustomed fatigue (both generalized and muscular), and, at times, muscle atrophy. However, untreated respiratory muscle weakness can result in underventilation, and weakness in swallowing muscles can result in aspiration pneumonia. People originally hit hard by the poliovirus and who attained a greater recovery may develop a more severe case of PPS with a greater loss of muscle function and more severe fatigue. It should be noted that many polio survivors were too young to remember the severity of their original illness and that accurate memory fades over time. According to estimates by the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 440,000 polio survivors in the United States may be at risk for PPS.

Causes of Polio

The common Causes of Polio :

  • Polio is caused by any of three polio viruses.
  • Polio is caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract.
  • Polio can strike at any age, but more than half of all cases affect children under the age of three.

Symptoms of Polio

Some Symptoms of Polio :

  • Fever
  • Back pain or stiffness
  • Muscle spasms or tenderness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or stiffness in the arms or legs
  • Headache

Treatment of Polio

  • There is no treatment for polio. A polio patient must receive expert medical care, especially at the beginning of the illness.
  • There is presently no cure for polio. Treatment involves supportive care.
  • Physical therapy and drugs are used to ease muscular problems, but there is no way to reverse permanent polio paralysis.
  • Polio vaccine given multiple times almost always protects a child for life.
  • Polio is diagnosed by a blood test or culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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