Polio is a virally infectious disease that attacks the nervous that can lead to paralysis, organ failure and even death. Due to the efficiency of the globally available vaccine, Polio is no considered an under control disease particularly in the UK with no natural contractions since 1984 however, there are continual outbreaks in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Polio – “Poliomyelitis” is an extremely serious illness that used to very common in the UK, before a vaccine was found and put in place thousands of people would fall casualty to the symptoms of the disease. Most people who actually contract the Polio virus (around one in ten) will not even know they have been infected, the one out of ten can go on to have temporary even permanent paralysis which can be life threatening.
There is no known cure for the Polio virus and it is well advised you and you are vaccinated not just for travel reasons but for the general safe guarding of your families health. Whereas most people who become infect it fight it off without knowing they were ever infected, there are a small percentage of cases where flu-like symptoms hare experienced like high fever, headaches, muscle aches and pains, stomach cramps, sickness and a sore throat.
In the even smaller percentages of cases that go on to experience the more serious symptoms, the infection goes on to attack the nervous system running up and down the spin and the base of the brain. This nerve damage can cause paralysis that usually manifests in the legs and can set in over a few hours or a few days.
There are considerable long term complications that can transpire after recovering from Polio such as:
Muscle Shrinkage (Atrophy)
Chronic Muscle Fatigue
Deformities (Irregular Joint Growth)
It is also well documented that those who have recovered from the Polio virus are prone to suffer symptoms in the future more specifically in later life. The condition is called Post-Polio Syndrome and you can find out more Here.
Polio is highly contagious person to person virus and is primarily contracted by coming into close contact with faeces of an infected host. Transmission also occurs when the breathing in the infected moisture spores secreted in to the air by an infected host. People have been known to be infected though their food and drink that has been contaminated with faecal matter.
Polio is a complex virus, those who are infected who do not show any symptoms whatsoever can still spread the disease.
Most people in western society have been inoculated through the national childhood vaccination schedule, that specific course of vaccinations lasts for up to ten years and it’s recommended that boosters are administered before traveling to any high risk area. Whether you have already and looking to get a booster, you can get vaccinated whenever.
Polio Across The World.
Polio although considered under control it’s still contractible all over the world and due to the efficiency and national availability of a vaccine that has helped save lives since the 1950’s. There two Polio hotspots are.
Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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Other than ensuring vigilance and maintenance of the highest standards of hygiene the best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated. Due to recent announcements from WHO regarding several outbreaks across the world since 2014, it is recommended anyone who has not had a booster in 12 months to get the Polio Vaccine again.
There is currently no known cure of the Polio Virus, due to the severity of the symptoms no chances should be taken and immediate contact with medical profession should me made. Upon admission into hospital you will be well hydrated to flush out the virus and your bodily functions will be machine assisted to help reduce the risk of long term complications.
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