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Polio or Poliomyelitis is a very contagious disease that develops when a virus attacks the nervous system. The disease destroys nerve cells in the spinal cord and can lead to paralysis. Children of five years of age and younger are more likely to develop the virus than any other age group, but does not exempt older age groups from it.  Poliomyelitis has been traced up to 6,000 years back, however, great measurements have been made in preventing the spread of it. As we know have access to the polio vaccine the disease has become very rare throughout most of the world.     Polio can result in a wide range of symptoms depending on the patient. The symptoms in each case may vary, it can go from a nonparalytic-flu to paralysis in just a few hours. Non-paralytic and paralytic polio have different symptoms. Non-paralytic are flu-like and can last up to ten days. The symptoms include fever, a sore throat, headache, vomiting, fatigue, and even meningitis. Even without symptoms those infected can still spread the virus. Paralytic polio on the other hand, only has a one percent chance of developing. This polio leads to paralysis in the brainstem and/or the spinal cord. Paralytic polio is similar to non-paralytic in the first week, but later develops into more severe and serious symptoms. They include the loss of reflexes, deformed limbs, temporary or permanent sudden paralysis, and loose floppy limbs. Although the percent to develop is less than one percent, it is still very deadly and can attack the muscles that aid you in breathing, causing one’s death. Polio can return fifteen to forty years after someone has recovered. Post-polio syndrome symptoms include muscle and joint weakness, worsening muscle pain, fatigue, and trouble breathing. In addition to those symptoms, you can also experience low tolerance of cold climate, depression, and trouble with concentration and memory. Between twenty to fifty percent of polio survivors will eventually get post-polio syndrome. This disorder can be treated through management strategies that help reduce fatigue and pain.  Of course, these problems can now be avoided with the polio vaccine. Dr. Jonas Salk, an American medical researcher, announced the success of a vaccine against poliomyelitis on March 26, 1953. At the time,  polio was going through an epidemic with 3,000 deaths and 58,000 new cases in the United States alone. The number of cases would only lower from that day on. Dr. Salk was praised as the doctor-benefactor of his time for ensuring the eradication of the disease.Dr. Jonas Salk was born in 1914 in New York City, where he eventually attended a university. His first research conducted on viruses was in the 1930s during World War II. Salk, who was a medical student at the time, helped develop flu vaccines. In the late 1940s he was appointed head of a University of Pittsburgh research laboratory. A few years later he was awarded a grant to conduct research on the poliomyelitis virus and possibly develop a vaccine. His first attempt was proven unsuccessful in the 1930s by American Maurice Brodie. Salk’s procedure was to kill strains of poliovirus and inject the benign or harmless viruses into the person’s bloodstream after. The patient’s immune system was meant to create antibodies who would resist future exposure to the poliovirus. His first human trials were conducted on former polio patients, his family, and himself. By 1953 his findings had been announced on the CBS national radio network and in a published article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Clinical trials began on nearly two million U.S. schoolchildren in 1954. The next year, the effectiveness of the vaccine was announced and was confirmed safe. An inoculation campaign was then started, helping polio cases drop to under 6,000 in 1957. Five years later an oral vaccine was developed by Albert Sabin, a polish researcher. In present day U.S. there are only a handful of cases per year and most are brought by Americans from nations where polio is still an issue. Due to his great work, Jonas Salk was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As I mentioned above, the number of polio cases began to diminish since Salk created the vaccine. However, the disease has not been wiped out entirely. Although the world is close to wiping out poliomyelitis, there are a few countries who threaten to undo it all. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria are the only countries who are still endemic in polio. Nigeria is critical to the worldwide effort in terminating the poliovirus. The country has been accountable for cases worldwide. The 25-year-and-counting effort to eliminate polio from the world is very crucial. If a single child remains infected, children in any country is at risk of catching poliomyelitis. Failure in eradicating this disease could result in more than 200,00 cases per year worldwide. Muhammad Ali Pate is one who has made a tremendous effort to drive polio away from Nigeria. He is convinced that the virus can be eliminated in the next few years.  Although he has resigned from his position in Cabinet, he is continuing his fight against poliomyelitis as chairman of the influential Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication. Pate has built a strong program in which the country can continue its success. Although it is the only country in the world with all three types of polio present and is known for reinfecting the world with it, the number of cases does seem to decrease. 

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