Map showing polio disease increase in Lahore.

Polio in Pakistan | Awareness message for parents.

Polio in Pakistan Recently, more polio cases are being diagnosed in 2019 as compared to recent years. Parents should get their children up to 5 years of age vaccinated against polio. Wild polio-virus has been detected in Lahore. The only way to protect against polio is polio vaccination. Save your children from polio with the cooperation of Government and spread this awareness in other parents.

What is polio?

A highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that attacks your nervous system is called polio. This virus commonly affects children under the age of 5.

According to a survey by the world health organization, 1 in 200 polio patients goes through permanent paralysis. In 1988, following regions we’re certified as polio-free due to global polio eradication initiative:

  • Southeast Asia
  • America
  • Western pacific
  • Europe

In 1953, the first polio vaccine was developed and was available in the market in 1957. By the use of this vaccine cases of polio dropped in the US, But still, polio in Pakistan is continual, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

What are the symptoms of polio?

According to an estimation, about 95 to 99 percent people are asymptomatic who contract polio virus. People who are infected with this virus can spread it to others.

The polio is categorised in 3 forms such as paralytic polio, Non-paralytic polio and post polio syndrome. Sign and symptoms for all these forms are different.

Non-paralytic polio:

Symptoms of non-paralytic polio also known as abortive polio last for 10 days. These symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Meningitis

Paralytic polio:

Paralytic polio can be serious and leads to paralysis in brain stem, spinal cord or both. This type is very rare like onlyv1 percent cases of polio turns to paralytic polio.

The initial symptoms of paralytic polio are same as the non-paralytic but later on some severe symptoms start appearing such as:

  • Severe spasms and muscle pain
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Floppy and lose limbs usually on one side of the body
  • Deformed limbs
  • Sudden paralysis that could be permanent or temporary

Post-polio syndrome:

Polio can come back after you have recovered. It will take about 15 to 40 years for reoccurring. Symptoms of post-polio syndrome are:

  • Feeling exhaust and fatigued easily
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Worse muscle pain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Problem in swallowing and breathing
  • Cold temperature
  • Depression
  • Trouble breathing in sleep
  • Trouble in memory and concentration

How do the doctors treat polio?

There is no cure for polio. The doctors only treat symptoms only when the virus runs it’s course. Vaccination is the best way to prevent polio.

The supportive treatments include:

  • Pain killers
  • Bed rest
  • Antispasmodic drugs to relax your muscles
  • Heating pads to relieve muscle aches
  • Ventilators to help breathing
  • Physical therapy
  • Antibiotics for urinary tract infections

Polio vaccination:

There are two types of polio vaccinations:

  1. Oral
  2. Inactivated

Currently only inactivated vaccine is being used in the United States. With the use of this vaccine polio has almost eliminated from many countries. But also the use of this vaccine can also cause some side effects.

Who should not get polio vaccination??

People who have any history of severe allergic reactions with the use of polio vaccine should not use it. A person should also avoid this vaccine if he is allergic to:

  • Neomycin
  • Streptomycin
  • Polymyxin B

It is ok to take the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as cold. But you need to wait for fully recovery if your condition is severe. Consult your doctor before taking vaccine. Your doctor will tell you to wait for a period of time so it is totally fine to take vaccine.

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