Poliomyelitis - also called polio and infantile paralysis - is an acute communicable disease caused by the poliovirus. Most patients present with minor illness (fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, and vomiting), but a few develop aseptic meningitis and paralytic illness.
In the United States, only 5 to 10 cases of the disease are reported annually. These cases are associated with the use of oral poliovirus vaccine, with infants frequently developing signs and symptoms after the first dose of the vaccine. Most of the other cases develop in individuals who haven't received vaccines and are in close contact with infected individuals.
The poliovirus (an enterovirus) is found worldwide and is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with infected oropharyngeal secretions or stool.
The virus usually enters the body through the alimentary tract, multiplies in the oropharynx and lower intestinal tract, and then spreads to regional lymph nodes and blood. Factors that increase the probability of paralysis include pregnancy, old age, unusual physical exertion at or just before the clinical onset of poliomyelitis, and localized trauma, such as a recent
Most major cases in the United States are related to the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) and occur in children under age 4. Infection occurs 3 to 6 days after administration of OPV and usually is associated with the first dose of the vaccine.
Signs and symptoms
Infection ranges in severity from an inapparent infection to a paralytic disease which may result in death. Symptoms include fever, malaise, headache, nausea and vomiting, excruciating muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and back.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for poliomyelitis may include the following:
Poliomyelitis calls for supportive treatment, including analgesics to ease headache, back pain, and leg spasms. Morphine is contraindicated because of the danger of additional respiratory depression. Moist heat applications also may reduce muscle spasm and pain.
Bed rest is necessary until extreme discomfort subsides. It also helps prevent increased paralysis. Patients with paralytic polio may be bedridden for a longtime and then require long-term rehabilitation using physical therapy, braces, and corrective shoes. Orthopedic surgery also may be necessary.
Bladder involvement may require catheterization, and respiratory muscle involvement may require mechanical ventilation. Postural drainage and suction may be sufficient to manage pooling of secretions in patients with non-paralytic polio.
Polio immunization (vaccine) effectively prevents poliomyelitis in most people (immunization is over 90% effective).
Online Doctor || Contact Us || Skin Disorders || Cellulite Guide || Chemotherapy || Acne Products ||
(c) Online-family-doctor.com All rights reserved
Disclaimer: Online-family-doctor.com is an information and educational purposes web site only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Do not rely upon any of the information provided on this site for medical diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your primary health care provider about any personal health concerns. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this site.