All you need to know about polio

All you need to know about polio


1 polio

2 History of polio

3 causes of polio

4 symptoms of polio

5 Diagnosis of polio

6 Treatment of polio

7 complications of polio

Polio vaccine 8

9 References


Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by a viral infection

that attacks the nervous system.

It is noteworthy that most of those infected with the poliovirus do not show symptoms of this disease,

However, a small number of children suffer from paralysis

as a result of exposure to this infection,

It is indicated that the polio vaccine was available,

which contributed to the significant decrease in the number of cases of this case.

According to the reports of the World Health Organization,

polio is still present despite the decrease in the number of cases by more than 99% since 1988,

As the incidence of the disease decreased from 350 thousand

cases to 33 cases reported in 2018,

In general, polio infection is more common in children under the age of 5 years.

However, the risk of developing polio increases regardless of age

The person did not receive the polio vaccine, or if he received the vaccine incompletely,

And despite the tremendous progress and the decrease in the number of cases of the disease since 1988

This indicates that the disease can spread easily as long as one child has this infection

Even if the region or country is originally free of the poliovirus,

It can also spread very quickly among people who do not have adequate protection against the virus.

History of polio

Experts believe that polio has been around for a long time.

A fossil stela from the Pharaonic era dating back to 1400 BC was found.

It shows a mummy with deformed limbs.

And the books recorded the first description of symptoms of polio in 1789 AD,

While the first documented and confirmed case of the disease was recorded in 1835 AD,

The discovery of the virus that causes polio in the year 1908 AD;

Where scientists Karl Landsteiner and Erwin Popper were able to isolate the virus, and examined it under a microscope,

Thus, we announced that polio is caused by a viral organism and not bacteria, as was previously thought.

This was followed by the first large-scale experiment with a vaccine prepared in 1954 by Jonas Salk.

Which was given by injection,

Then doctor Albert Sabin attended a new vaccine in 1956 AD,

And this vaccine was given orally,

It should be noted that the polio vaccine has become a routine vaccine given to children in all countries of the world.

Causes of polio occurrence

Poliomyelitis is attributed to the poliovirus

Which is considered an enterovirus,

There are three different types of poliovirus,

As the first type is the most common cause of outbreaks of polio.

It is also considered the most paralytic compared to the other types.

As mentioned earlier, the poliovirus is highly contagious, as the disease is transmitted from person to person mainly through the oral-anal route.

This includes entering the virus through the mouth or nose,

So that it multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract,

The virus then travels through the blood and lymphatic system,

It reaches the central nervous system and affects it.

It is indicated that there are many ways of transmitting the virus from one person to another; They include:

1- Coming into contact with the mucus or sputum of a person with polio

2- Contact with the stool of an infected person

3- Direct contact with a person with polio

With regard to the incubation period, this period ranges between 5-35 days.

The possibility of transmitting the infection to others is indicated immediately before symptoms appear, and up to two weeks after they appear.

Symptoms of polio

Most people with polio may not have symptoms of contracting the virus,

This type is known as inapparent infection.

Symptoms may vary depending on the type, and this can be explained as follows:

First: the abortive type:

This type is mild and does not last for long. Symptoms include:

  • fever.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Sore throat.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Tummy ache.
  • Constipation.
  • Feeling tired

Second: Nonparalytic

This type is much milder and does not last for a long period of time.

In fact, common symptoms of this type are similar to those of abortive polio.

And after those symptoms disappear, the child may suffer from other symptoms, including the following:

Stiffness in the neck and along the spine.

Muscle pain in the neck, trunk, arms, and legs.

Third: paralytic type:

It is considered the most dangerous species, but it is rare.

The initial symptoms of an infection are often similar to those of other types of polio.

But some other symptoms of this type may appear within a week of infection,

They include the following:

Loss of reflexes.

Limb looseness in what is known as flaccid paralysis.

Severe muscle pain or weakness.

Diagnosis of polio

Diagnosing polio begins with knowing the child’s medical history.

Including inquiring about whether the person has recently traveled to a country where this virus is active,

Diagnosis also includes physical examinations,

The matter may require subjecting the person to some analyzes and laboratory tests, of which we mention the following:

1- Diagnostic implants:

A sample of the infected person’s stool and another sample of throat fluid are taken.

Where the specialist implants it in an environment dedicated to the growth of viruses in order to accurately detect the virus responsible for the emergence of these symptoms.

2- Blood analysis:

It aims to check for the presence of poliovirus antibodies.


3- Lumbar puncture

It is performed to measure pressure in the spinal canal and brain.

And taking a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for laboratory examination.

A lumbar puncture involves the specialist inserting a needle into the lower back into the spinal canal that surrounds the spinal cord.

Polio treatment

There is no specific treatment for polio infection.

However, some supportive means of care may contribute to relieving symptoms, and we mention the following:

1- Painkillers

Help reduce pain and fever, including ibuprofen.

2- Portable respirators, which help improve breathing.

3- Physiotherapy

It aims to prevent deformities and impairment of the ability of muscles to perform their functions,

It also plays a role in stimulating muscles and movement for people with difficulty in this.

4- Drinking fluids and resting at home, especially for those who suffer from mild symptoms similar to the symptoms of influenza.

İmportant notice:

The content of the submitted articles, including all text, graphics, images, and other materials, is provided for educational purposes only.

The information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice or professional diagnosis.

Moreover, the information on this website should not be taken as final medical advice in relation to any case or individual situation.

We strongly recommend that you always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health service provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, your general health, or the health of your child.


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