Diseases Diseases

Users Information On Polio

Published at 07/15/2011 13:20:49

Being diagnosed with polio is truly earth shattering especially if your child is the one who suffers from this condition. An extreme discomfort is experienced by the person who suffers from this disease. To prevent this, read on for more information on all things relating to polio.

What is Polio?

Polio is an acute paralytic condition which affects the central nervous system affecting the lower motor neuron which involves the anterior horn cells. Polio is very contagious and infectious disease caused by Legio debilitans. This virus is introduced in the oropharynx which leaves the body via discharges from the throat and the gastrointestinal tract. They may also exist in contaminated water supplies and sewage or infected milk.

What are the Predisposing factors of polio?

People who are at risk for acquiring polio are children below ten years old and people with poor environmental and hygienic factors.

How is the disease diagnosed?

The doctor will order a lumbar tap procedure wherein the doctor carefully inserts a thin needle between the bones of the lower spine to withdraw the fluid sample in order to determine the amount of protein in the cerebrospinal fluid. A numbing cream will be applied to the area beforehand to minimize skin discomfort. An increased level of protein or positive pandy’s test plus the signs and symptoms that are manifested will confirm the diagnosis. Stool exam may also be ordered to look for the causative agent.

What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?

There are three stages of polio and these are abortive, pre paralytic and paralytic stage.

Abortive stage: the patient will suffer from headaches, sore throat, slight or moderate vomiting and low lumbar backache

Pre-paralytic stage: the patient will experience tightness/ spasm of the back muscles and inability to put head in between his knees or touch his toes while his legs are fully extended. The person will also suffer from opisthotonos ( if the patient lies on his back, only the back of his head and heels are touching the supporting surface because his arched back).
Paralytic stage: the patient will experience weakness and paralysis that appear on the second day of the disease and reaches its maximum peak at the 6th day. Vomiting, constipation, irritability, profuse sweating, changing of deep tendon reflexes are also manifested. More so, the patient tends to lie in a position where maximum comfort is experienced. If the nerves that are responsible for respiration are affected, it is expected that the person will suffer from difficulty of breathing because of the respiratory paralysis.

How is Polio Treated?

Unfortunately there is no known cure for polio. The goal of the treatment is to provide relief of symptoms and prevent further complications. The iron lung machine or Tracheostomy is ordered by the physician if the respiration is compromised. Antibiotics may be given to prevent infection in the weakened muscles and Analgesics for the relief of pain. A high protein diet is also recommended and application of warm packs to relieve muscle tenderness, pain and shortening.

How is Polio Prevented?

Vaccination is a must to protect oneself from suffering from polio. Active immunization is given for 4-6 weeks old infant. Oral drops are done for 3 doses. Infants should not be fed at least 30 minutes after the administration of vaccine to promote better absorption. Thus, it is recommended for the infant to be fed before the immunization. Passive immunization is given to protect a person who had an intimate contact with a fresh case of active poliomyelitis for 2-3 weeks. The route of administration of the vaccine is intramuscularly.

Tips and comments:

 Prevention is always better than cure for Polio. Proper hygiene and awareness of the disease is vital in order to prevent acquisition of the devastating illness. You should also take your child to the doctor or to the nearest health center for prompt vaccination.


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