What Is Poliomyelitis?
Polio is a disease in which your nervous system gets affected by a virus attack. In its most severe form, polio can cause injuries in the nerves which can further lead to paralysis or even death. The most common age group that is affected by polio is 0-5 years old children. Polio is also known as poliomyelitis.
Vaccination programs are run over the world to eradicate polio. Children are usually vaccinated free of cost. When an adult travels to any area that is known to have polio cases, they are advised to get a dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), also called the boosted dose.
Polio symptoms do not show up in most of the cases. It is estimated that around 72% of cases do not show any noticeable symptoms. If a person shows poliomyelitis symptoms, they may include the following:
- Pain in the limbs
- Feeling stiffness in the neck
- Sore throat
It is very necessary to detect these symptoms very early as these symptoms tend to disappear after 2 to 5 days. In some cases where the spinal cord and the brain get affected, the symptoms might get severe. A few of these symptoms are:
- Paresthesia: The affected person feels pins in his or her limbs
- Meningitis: The part that covers the brain and spinal cord get infected
- Paralysis: The ability to move legs or arms get reduced or become absolutely absent
It is seen that around 1 in 200 affected persons experience paralysis. This paralysis might damage the ability to move limbs permanently, or can even lead to death.
Who Is At Risk?
Although a person of any gender or age can get affected by the poliovirus, there certain factors that make a person prone to developing polio. These risk factors are as follows:
- Immunization: If you are not vaccinated against polio, your chances of developing the condition are very high.
- Age: Children between the ages of 0 to 5 are the most vulnerable to poliovirus.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant ladies are prone to this disease than the others.
- Immune system: People who have a weak immune system cannot prevent themselves from the attack of poliovirus.
Polio is caused by a virus called the poliovirus. There are no other polio causes known to doctors.
Poliovirus enters the human body through the mouth. It spreads when a healthy person comes in contact with faeces, phlegm, or mucus of an infected person. Touching contaminated objects also can cause transmission. Poor hygienic conditions, not caring about sanitary facilitates the spread of the virus.
Although any person who comes in contact with poliovirus develops the disease, children between age 0 to 5 are more vulnerable than the others.
How Is Poliomyelitis Diagnosed?
Poliomyelitis diagnosis is done by looking at your symptoms. A physical examination is done to check the following:
- Impairment of reflexes
- Muscles weakness
- Stiffness in the neck and back
If the doctor suspects poliomyelitis, a sample of the throat, cerebrospinal fluid, or stool is sent to the lab to get tested for poliovirus.
How Is Poliomyelitis Treated?
There is no polio cure discovered yet by the doctors. Doctors apply different polio treatment methods to reduce down the symptoms. A few treatment methods used by the doctors are:
- Medications for relaxing muscles
- Medications for treating urinary tract infections
- Patients are facilitated in breathing with the help of a ventilator
- Physiotherapy to help in reducing the symptoms of paralysis
- Drugs to reduce the pain
- Using warms towels to treat spasms
- Bed rest
- In the cases where legs become too weak to walk, wheelchair and other devices are given to help in walking.
If you are looking for poliomyelitis treatment for yourself, or your child, carefit can help you. We have a team of specialist doctors equipped with the latest medical machinery that can help in treating your condition. To know more, go to our website or download our official app.
How Can Poliomyelitis be Prevented?
The best method for polio prevention is getting vaccinated against the virus. There are many myths spread against getting vaccinated which are not true. Governments run anti-polio programs every year whenever there is an onset of a virus attack. Taking care of hygienic conditions can be another method to prevent yourself from polio.