World Polio Day 2016
World Polio Day is held on 24th October every year across the world to commemorate the month in which Dr. Jonas Salk was born, who was first to develop a vaccine against polio. The introduction of polio vaccination led to reduction of polio by 99% worldwide.
According to WHO, 1 in 200 infections lead to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized. Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 3,50,000 cases then, to 74 reported cases in 2015. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.
All we need to know Key facts about Polio
• Polio is a viral infection which is contagious in nature and in most severe cases causes difficulty in breathing and irreversible paralysis.
• It is caused by a wild polio virus.
• The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.
• It mainly affects children under 5 years of age.
• As long as a single child remains infected from polio, children in all the countries are at a risk of contracting polio.
• Polio can only be prevented as it has no cure .Polio vaccine with scheduled doses can protect a child for lifetime.
• Two types of vaccines protect against polio-One is live attenuated oral vaccine which is given orally and the other one is inactivated poliovirus vaccine which is injected in leg or arm depending on patient's age.
Symptoms of Polio
• Sore throat
• Pain or stiffness in the neck, back, arms or legs
• Muscle weakness
These symptoms will last for up to about 10 days of infection.
Severe symptoms include meningitis (infection of brain and spinal cord) and irreversible paralysis of legs or arms which occurs in 1 out of 200 infections.
Risk factors for paralysis in Polio
• Poor immunity
• Tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils)
• Intramuscular injections
Prevention of Polio
As there is no cure for polio; it can only be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times as per prescribed schedule, protects a child for the lifetime. There are two types of vaccine that can protect against polio-Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) and live attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). Oral vaccine is given orally and the other one is inactivated poliovirus vaccine, which is injected in leg or arm depending on patient's age.
Dose of Polio Vaccine
OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) 5 doses; 1st dose at birth, three primary doses at 6,10 and 14 weeks and one booster dose at 16-24 months of age. A new introduction in the year 2016 is Injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) which is given as an additional dose along with 3rd dose of OPV.