11 facts about Polio you must know

Here are eleven facts about polio you must know:

  • Polio is an infection caused by a virus that affects the entire body, including muscles and nerves.
  • There are 3 types of polio: non-paralytic (does not lead to paralysis), spinal-paralytic (can result in the paralysis of one or more limbs), and bulbar (can result in weak muscles, reflex loss, and respiratory problems).
  • Up to 95% of polio cases show no symptoms. A small number of people may have fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
  • One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually of the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5 to 10% of patients die when breathing muscles become immobilized.
  • The virus is found in saliva and feces of sick people. It can be spread by direct contact with sick persons or through the air when a sick person talks, coughs, or sneezes. It is also spread by food, water, or hands contaminated with infected feces.
  • Polio can infect a person of any age, but children five and under are especially vulnerable and make up roughly 50% of polio victims.
  • Polio cases have decreased more than 99% since 1988 from an estimated 350,000 cases to 416 cases in 2013. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.
  • The World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with the support of key health organizations in 1988 to focus on creating a solution to polio.
  • As of 2015, three countries remain infected with the virus: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
  • About 2 to 5 children out of 100 who have paralysis from polio die because the virus affects the muscles that help them breathe.
  • Jonas Salk produced the first polio vaccine in 1952, the best way to prevent Polio because there is no cure for polio.