AFRICA WINNING THE FIGHT AGAINST POLIOMYLETIS



    Polio or infantile paralysis as it is often called is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person,primarily via the fecal-oral route,from where it can invade the nervous system and causes paralysis.It is seasonal in temperate climates and far pronounced in tropical areas.

FACTS ON POLIO
-Approximately 90% of polio infections causes no visible symptoms,it has been shown by autopsy that more than 50% of motor neurons must be damaged before there is visable weakness.

-Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if  the virus enters the central nervous system.

-Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century.

CAUSES/CAUSATIVE AGENT
1.Small RNA enterovirus of the picornaviridae and genusenterovirus family.
2.Three serotype:P1,P2 and P3.
3.Rapidly inactive by heat.
4.Minimal heterotypic immunity between the three serotypes.

SYMPTOMS OF POLIOMYLETIS
   The symptoms of polio differ depending on the extent of the infection.Signs and symptoms can be divided into paralytic and non-paralytic polio.
Paralytic polio-It occurs in about 2% of people infected with the polio virus and is a much more serious disease.Symptoms occur as a result of nervous system and spinal cord infection and inflammation.
- High fever.
-Headache.
-Stiffness in the back and neck.
-Sensitivity to touch.
-Difficulty swallowing.
-Muscles pain.
-Loss of superficial and deep reflexes.
-Paresthesia and difficulty urinating.
-Constipation.
-Drooling.

     The symptom of Non-paralytic polio include:paralytic meningitis-that involves the central nervous system and in children paralysis is common on one leg at age 5.
            In adult,the symptom include:paralysis of the chest and abdomen.Also, other non-paralytic symptoms are:
- Fever.
-Sore throat.
-Vomiting.
-Fatigue.
N:B: According to World Health Organization (WHO )records, about 1-20 to 1-1000 cases progress to paralytic diseases,in which the muscles becomes weak,floppy and poorly controlled.The condition is known as acute flaccid paralysis(AFP).

MODE OF TRANSMISSION
The transmission is similar to that of cholera,dysentery and diarrhea diseases.The disease is transmitted primarily through fecal-oral route by ingesting contaminated water.It could sometimes be transmitted through oral-oral route that is,area of good sanitation and hygiene. Poliovirus is more infectious between 7-10 days after the appearance of the symptoms but transmission is possible as long as the virus remains in the saliva or feces.
         The virus spreads rapidly in non-immune persons and transmission is usually widespread by the time of paralysis onset.The infected person intermittently excretes the virus for one month or more after infection.The heaviest fecal excretion of the virus occurs just prior to the onset of paralysis and during the first two weeks(14 days) after paralysis occurs.

TREATMENT
  There is no cure for polio.The treatment has been to provide relief of symptoms and speedy recovery and complications.Preventive measures include antibiotics to prevent infections in weakened muscles,analgesia for pain and nutritious diet.The treatment requires long term rehabilitation,including physical therapy,corrective shoes and orthopedic surgery.

PREVENTION
-Routine immunization:Two types of vaccines are commonly used-salk and sabin used in EPI programmes.The three strains of wide poliovirus are combined into one vaccine.
   Before one year of age.In endemic countries a dose should be given at birth or as close to birth as possible.The other three doses should be given at least four weeks apart starting from 6 weeks of age.
-Travelers-those traveling to high endemic area should be well protected by being re-vaccinated before traveling as done in yellow fever cases all over the world.
AFRICA WINNING THE FIGHT AGAINST POLIOMYLETIS AFRICA WINNING THE FIGHT AGAINST POLIOMYLETIS Reviewed by Gregory on September 02, 2017 Rating: 5

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