How does Polio work?
Poliomyelitis or polio is an infectious virus that can cause paralysis, death, and severe brain damage. You can contract it by contacting an infected person or drinking contaminated water. The most common way the virus can be transmitted is through fecal and oral contact. This includes when sanitation procedures aren't followed or handwashing practices not being observed. In some areas of the globe, polio remains an epidemic. This is especially true in those countries that have limited access to clean water and sanitation.
Although polio was widespread once upon a time in America and the rest of the world, it has dramatically declined since the introduction of the vaccine against polio in 1950s. Even with all the progress made, polio is still a serious threat to many people around the globe. There were only 22 cases of polio worldwide in 2017, compared to more than 350,000 reported in 1988. Only three countries, namely Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, are still polio-endemic as of 2020.
The Common Causes of Polio
Poliovirus is the main cause. It is usually found in infected people's feces. It spreads through direct contact with infected people or by contaminating food and water. Persons who are not vaccinated against Polio are at greater risk of contracting the virus. The virus is also more likely to infect those who have not been vaccinated, or are weakened by poor nutrition.
Polio can be spread by person-to-person contact. This includes sharing meals or drinking with someone infected. You can spread it through saliva, mucus or feces. Toxic objects, such as toys and doorknobs can also spread the virus by coming in contact with saliva, mucus or feces from an infected individual.
Common Polio Treatment s
Immunization is the first line of defense against Polio. There are vaccines that protect against all three types of the poliovirus. The United States offers both oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV), and inactivated poliovirus vaccines (IPV). These are recommended for children and adults. According to the World Health Organization, all countries should use IPV as part of their routine immunization program.
People with polio need to be vaccinated. However, they also require support care. Physical therapy can be used to strengthen the muscles and respiratory therapy may improve your ability to breathe. There are also Medications that reduce pain and inflammation. Surgery may be required in severe cases to correct any deformities.
Researchers have discovered new treatments that directly target the virus in recent years. To reduce nerve inflammation and promote nerve regeneration, one such treatment involves injecting stem cells directly into the spinal cord. The therapy was proven to work in lab studies , and it is being used in clinical trials .
Viewpoints from Experts
Experts are unanimous in their belief that vaccination is the best method to avoid polio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children and adults receive two doses (IPV) of inactivated poliovirus vaccination (CDC). According to the World Health Organization, all countries should use IPV as part of their routine immunization program. It is recommended that all travelers who travel to areas where polio remains endemic should receive a booster dose before they depart.
Experts agree it's important to maintain good hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus. It is important to wash your hands frequently, avoid contact with people infected, and dispose of waste safely. Experts recommend that anyone living in an area where polio continues to be prevalent is vaccinated on a regular basis.
Prevention tips and Natural Remedies
There is no way to prevent polio from happening. However, you can reduce your chances of getting it. The first step to prevent polio is getting vaccinated. Good hygiene practices and sanitation are also important to reduce spread of the disease. Washing your hands frequently, not coming in contact with others who are infected, and safely disposing of the feces is a good way to reduce spread.
You can also look for natural prevention and treatment tips here:
- Healthy immune system requires regular exercise, eating well, adequate rest and avoiding stress.
- Avoid contact with those who are infected.
- Avoid areas known to harbor the virus.
- Use insect repellents to prevent mosquito bites that can spread the disease.
- To ensure that water is safe to drink, boil it first.
- When you are coughing, sneezing, or trying to sneeze, cover your mouth and nose.
Polio, a viral infection that is highly contagious can lead to paralysis or even death. Polio vaccine is the best method to protect yourself and is highly recommended for everyone, children and adults. The risk of getting the disease can be reduced by practicing hygiene, sanitation, keeping your immune system healthy, and not coming in contact with others who may have been exposed. The risk of getting infected can be reduced by natural remedies as well as prevention tips like boiling water and repellent.
Although polio remains a serious threat to many areas of the globe, it has declined dramatically over the past few years due to improved sanitation and vaccinations. The goal to eradicate the disease can be achieved if people are educated about vaccinations and better sanitation.