by AK Team
Poliomyelitis, that is more commonly and in simpler terms known as Polio disease, is a disabling and might be life – threatening kind of viral infection that occurs in individuals.
The causative agent for this kind of viral infection is a virus (check other viral infections such as AIDS AND HIV – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT) The name of the virus that causes this kind of viral disease is the poliovirus. This virus and eventually the disease itself is very contagious and can spread from one infected person to a healthy person by various ways.
This viral infection infects the person’s spinal cord that eventually leads to paralysis that is the person who is infected by this kind of viral infection cannot move his or her body parts. This virus also leads to certain nerve injury, difficulty in breathing and also sometimes it can even result in death.
This kind of viral infection is very common in continents like Asia and Africa and quiet uncommon in places like the United States. Even though there are many practices that are currently going on to eradicate this kind of viral infection completely, still many individuals, children and adults are getting infected by this kind of viral infection.
Polio is most commonly observed in young children between 3 to 5 years of age. In childhood children are especially polio drops to avoid the risk of getting infected by this kind of viral infection in future.
There are various treatments and preventive measures as well that are available for the treatment of this kind of viral infection. The most important treatment that can be a preventive measure as well especially in children are the polio drops that are given to children from the beginning itself. Other treatments for children as well as adults include vaccination, various medications and the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). Inactivated poliovirus vaccine is the most effective way or treating and preventing this kind of viral infection not only in children but adults as well.
TYPES OF POLIO
The type of polio here indicates that the type of poliovirus that causes this kind of viral infection. There are basically three types of poliovirus that are present. The three types of poliovirus that affect an individual and cause such type of viral disease are listed below :
Type 1 poliovirus
- Out of all the types of poliovirus, this type 1 poliovirus is the most common, most life – threatening, and the most contagious type of poliovirus.
- This type 1 poliovirus is still present and it still affects individuals and is not yet eradicated
Type 2 poliovirus
- As compared to type 1 poliovirus, type 2 poliovirus is less common and less contagious as well
- This type 2 of poliovirus is not that life – threatening if the diagnosis and treatment are done at the correct time
- This type 2 poliovirus was declared to be eradicated from India in about September 2015.
Type 3 poliovirus
- As compared to both the above listed types, that is type 1 and type 2, type 3 is the least common type of poliovirus that occurs
- This type of virus is not life – threatening at all
- This type 3 poliovirus was declared to be eradicated from India in about October 2019
STAGES OF POLIO
The stages of poliomyelitis basically indicate that at what phase of the disease the infected person is suffering currently. The stage also helps an individual to determine the severity of the disease that is how mild or how severe the disease is. There are basically four stages of this kind of viral infection that are present currently. The four stages of this kind of viral infection are listed below :
- This is the initial stage of the disease and is known as the prodromal stage or the pre – paralytic stage of the disease
- This stage usually begins after few hours to few days after the healthy person comes in contact with the virus, that the incubation period of this day is about few hours or few days after coming in contact with the virus
- This stage last for about 1 – 3 days after the onset of the disease
- The infected person experiences some very common types of symptoms such as headache, sore throat, backache, joint pain, etc. which usually go unnoticeable.
- Stage 2 of this kind of viral infection is also known as the acute stage
- The incubation period of this acute stage is about 3 to 6 weeks from the onset of the viral infection
- In this stage the symptoms that an infected person experiences becomes more prominent
- The symptoms might include muscle tenderness and this is the most characteristic symptoms of this stage of this kind of viral infection
- The treatment for this stage might include a booster dose and also a nutrition diet that is highly rich in protein and the infected person might also require isolation from this stage itself to reduce the risk of spreading this disease.
- Stage 3 is also known as the convalescent stage
- The duration or the incubation period of stage 3, that is the convalescent stage is about 2 to 3 months form the onset of the disease.
- In this stage 3 the symptoms become so prominent that the disease can easily be diagnosed as the poliomyelitis disease
- The symptoms that occur in this stage 3 might include contractures of hip, knee and the bulbar paralysis and some other symptoms as well
- The treatment for this stage 3 might include muscle charting, changing the position, etc.
- Stage 4 is also known as the stage of recovery only if this kind of viral infected is diagnosed and treated well in the initial stages of the disease.
- This stage may last for about a period of 2 years.
- The muscles in the polio patient can be strengthened to their maximum capacity for up to about 2 years
SYMPTOMS OF POLIO
The kind of symptoms an infected person experiences while suffering from this kind of viral infection depends entirely on the type of virus he or she is infected from and also on the stage of the disease he or she currently is at. The various signs and symptoms that are experienced by an infected person are listed below :
- Neck stiffness
- Pain in the arms and the legs
- Back pain
- Muscle weakness and tenderness
- Loss of reflexes
CAUSES OF POLIO
- The main cause of this kind of viral infection is the poliovirus itself
- This virus can be transmitted into a healthy individual from the infected person either by direct contact or by indirect contact
- The children under 5 years of age are at a very high risk of being infected by this kind of viral infection.