Polio: Symptoms, History, Prevention, And More Extra

an Indian child receiving a polio drops

Over view

Polio which we have heard a lot in childhood, and have seen many children with disabilities.

These diseases mainly affect children under the age of 5, and someone who has not been vaccinated is at risk of developing this disease.

So today we will talk about – its signs, past, causes, whether is it necessary, and more extra things.

an Indian child receiving a polio drops

What is Polio?

Polio is an infectious disease also known as poliomyelitis, caused by a virus, which affects the central nervous system, resulting in flaccid paralysis.

NOTE: Children under the age of 5 are at high risk of this disease, and it can spread from person to person through an infected person sneezing.

And polio is spread when the poop of an infected person comes into our mouth through contaminated water or food.

Many countries are free from polio thanks to vaccination and these countries such as:

  • America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Western Pacific
  • Africa – free from polio on 25 August 2020.
  • Europe

However, some countries are still facing this disease which includes:

  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan

Check Out – Polio Vaccine: Possible Things You Need To Know

From History To Today’s world

This disease was first recognized as a separate condition in 1789 by physician Micheal underwood.

And the virus causing it was first identified in 1909 by Australian Immunologist Karl Landsteiner.

In 1952 the most dangerous outbreak of this epidemic in American history about 58,000 cases were seen, 3,145 died and left 21, and 269 faced disability.

In the 1950s most hospitals limited access to Iron Lungs for patients, who could not unable to inhale oxygen without mechanical help.

What About – In India – vaccination against polio in India began with the EPI (Expanded program Immunization) in 1985,

And around 60% of infants were given all 3 doses of OPV (Oral poliovirus vaccines).

And In 1985, the UPI (Universal Immunization Programme) was introduced to vaccinate all districts in India.

NOTE: The last case of polio was reported in India a decade ago on January 13, 2011, after the country is free from polio.

India got polio certification on 27 March 2014 along with the whole of Southeast Asia.

In Pakistan – Pilio is still standing in 2 countries, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and is eradicated in the rest of the world.

In 2015, 53 cases were reported in Pakistan, more than in any other country. 20 in 2016, 8 in 2017, 12 in 2018, and 147 cases in 2019.

Cases were low from 2014 to 2018 due to the UAE’s support for the Immunization of 440 million dirhams.

Causes of Polio

The reason for polio is poliovirus which is a viral infection, which spread from one infected person to another person through saliva and sneeze drops.

This also happens when you are eating and drinking contaminated water, or food.

So make sure whenever you come home, or consume anything wash your hand properly, which is also required in the covid situation.

Signs and Symptoms

It’s assessed that 95 to close to 100% of people who contract poliovirus are asymptomatic. and most people get infected with them but they still do not know.

The two basic patterns of this infection are:

Minor illness (Non-paralytic polio)

This does not involve the central nervous system, rarely, the infection is seen with mild symptoms such as:

Minor polio is also known as abortive poliomyelitis.

Major illness (Paralytic polio)

In Around 1% of people, paralytic polio enters the central nervous system which symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Back, abdominal pain
  • Extremity pain
  • Fever
  • Vomitting
  • Irritability

These symptoms are similar to non-paralytic polio, but more serious symptoms will appear after a week, which includes:

  • Muscles become weak
  • Floppy and poorly controlled
  • Completely paralyzed
  • Deformed legs, hips, ankles, and feet

Post-Polio Syndrome

This condition appears 15 to 30 years after having polio, and it is possible to return even after recovering, the common symptoms of:

  • Muscles weakness
  • Easily fatigued and exhausted
  • Muscle pain
  • Complete waste of that muscle
  • Affected area low temperature
  • Sleep discomfort

If you see any discomfort, talk to the doctor, and tell them everything about your childhood polio, they will treat you according to your current physical condition.

How does It spread?

This disease is mainly spread through the medium of the poop-oral route like contaminated food, and water.

But it also spread from an infected person to a healthy person through saliva, cough, and sneeze drops.

However, some diseases can also enhance the risk of polio infection such as:

  • Low immunity
  • skeletal muscle injury
  • pregnancy, (however, the virus can cross the maternal-fetal wall)

Learn more about – Exercises during Pregnancy

How will Doctors Diagnose Polio?

Doctors diagnose polio after seeing your symptoms.

The doctor usually takes a sample of the poop and a sample of a Swab of the pharynx (a part of the throat).

More tests such as molecule mapping or PCR amplification, are to define if it is the mild type.

Other tests such as cerebrospinal fluid for the poliovirus, and white blood cells.


There is no cure for this disease, but doctors can only treat the symptoms to help you to do something.

The focus of today’s treatment keeps on providing you with symptom relief, speedy recovery and preventing complications.

But there is some best way to treat polio:

  • Antibiotics to control infection in weakened muscles
  • Pain killers
  • Moderate exercises, and a nutrition diet.
  • Bed rest
  • Heating pads to ease muscles

Other treatments that require Long-term Rehabilitation (treatment for chronic patients, and others) such as:

  • Occupational, and physical therapy
  • braces

NOTE: Portable ventilators are commonly called iron lung ventilators which help the person breathe in, and out.

In today’s polio patients use jacket-type ventilators.

Prevent From Polio

NOTE: The best way to prevent polio is to get vaccinated.

In India, the first dose of polio vaccination is given at birth. Second dose at the age of 1 month. The third dose was at the age of 2 months.

The vaccine protects children by boosting their immunity against poliovirus.

In today’s time, except for Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the whole world has become polio-free.

Learn more about – Food That Boost Immunity


The reason for this is poliovirus which is a viral infection, it can spread from one infected person to another person through saliva, and sneeze drops.

There is no cure for this disease, but doctors can only treat the symptoms to help you to do something.

In today’s time, except for Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the whole world has become polio-free.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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