Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Some people suffer from the disease in a mild form (for example, there is a short-term diarrhea, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract), the other – in the heavy, up to paralysis of the lower and upper limbs, in the worst case, death can occur due to paralysis of respiratory muscles. Poliomyelitis usually affects children between the ages of one to five years, but may develop as adults. In the past polio was very common, but since 1960 polio vaccination is carried out.
- Pain in the limbs.
- Impairment of the function of the stomach and intestines.
- Impaired consciousness.
- Stiff neck muscles.
- Flaccid paralysis of the lower and upper limbs without sensory loss.
There are three types of polio virus, which are excreted in feces of an infected person and remain viable for up to three months. The virus enters the body through the water and food, which is not heat-treated. Virus carriers may be insects. However, 90-95% of those infected do not get sick. They become susceptible to infection because in their blood antibodies are formed. Physical and emotional stress, a general weakening of immunity are factors that contribute to disease.
Treatment is carried out in the hospital. Doctors prescribe sedatives, painkillers and diuretics, and immunoglobulins. You can immediately get vaccinated and accelerated the formation of antibodies. With timely vaccination symptoms of the disease will be reduced.
You need to be vaccinated in time! Poliomyelitis – infectious disease, so about every case of the disease doctor should inform the health authorities. In some countries, infants are vaccinated against poliomyelitis.
For suspected polio (leg pain and weakness), you should immediately consult a doctor, especially if you have been exposed to sick polio.
The doctor diagnoses the disease by type of stroke, body temperature and changes in cerebrospinal fluid (after lumbar puncture). Pathogen can be determined by analysis of feces.
Course of the disease
The incubation period is about 10 days. The first symptoms are similar to flu. In the initial stage sometimes dysfunction of the stomach and intestines can occur in the body. Three days later, the temperature drops, then rises again suddenly, there is anxiety, sweating is increased, a person can lose consciousness, there may be inflammation of meninges, paralysis develops (usually your legs and arms). Circulatory and respiratory failure is possible. Duration of paralysis is from a few hours to 2-3 days. The disease can stop to progress at any stage. With intensive treatment effects can be significant. Most often, muscle atrophy, contracture of the arms and legs, spinal deformity remain.
Is it a dangerous disease?
Dangerous complications of poliomyelitis – the central respiratory paralysis, paralysis of the muscles of swallowing, ascending paralysis (inflammation of the nerves of the brain and spinal cord). These complications often lead to death. Recovery of paralyzed limbs is possible with the using of therapeutic gymnastic (recovery time – from six months to one and a half years).
Best prophylactic against polio – vaccination (weakened germs are taken orally). Vaccination of infants held at 4.5 and 18 months of life. Vaccination in the summer is not recommended, at this time the vaccine is sometimes “not working.”
Polio vaccine is effective for 5-10 years. Currently, the risk of infection is minimal, although the outbreaks of polio are still registered in some countries. Therefore, before travelling to any exotic country you need to be vaccinated.