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  • Polio, short for poliomyelitis, or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. The virus destroys nerve cells in the spinal cord causing muscle wasting and paralysis.
  • There are three wild types of poliovirus (WPV) – type 1, type 2, and type 3. People need to be protected against all three types of the virus in order to prevent polio disease
  • Symptoms: Many people who are infected with the poliovirus don’t become sick and have no symptoms. However, those who do become ill develop paralysis, which can sometimes be fatal

Is it Curable?

  • There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.
  • Vaccine contains weakened-virus activating an immune response in the body, building up antibodies against virus.

What is Vaccine derived Polio Virus?

  • These are rare strains of poliovirus that have genetically mutated from the virus strain contained in the oral polio vaccine(OPV) administered to children. 90% of VDPV cases were due to the type 2 component in OPV

Does Polio still exist?

  • Polio does still exist, although polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated more than 350 000 cases to 22 reported cases in 2017. 
  • Today, only 3 countries in the world have never stopped transmission of wild polio virus (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria).

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International on 24th October to celebrate the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.

December 2023