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Poliomyelitis: Causes, transmission, signs, symptoms and treatment

BY: Deena David | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-09-30

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   Deena David
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Causes of polio:

Poliomyelitis is also called as polio or infantile paralysis. It is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person. The spread is mainly by the faecal-oral route. The term poliomyelitis is from a Greek word meaning grey, referring to the spinal cord and its inflammation. This article mainly deals with the causes and transmission methods of polio.

Almost ninety percent of those affected by Poliomyelitis do no show any symptoms. Only a very few people in whom the virus has entered the blood stream show symptoms. In less than one percent of the people, the virus enters through other routes.

Signs and symptoms of polio:

1. Fever: Initially after the polio virus has entered the body, the person who is affected can have an increase in the temperature. The fever can be very high and can last even for about a week. Medications have to be provided to control the fever or the person can start having febrile convulsions. These are convulsions that affect the child who is under 5 years of age and has fever.

2. Nerves affected: The nerves are affected when the polio virus affects a person and the lower limbs are more commonly affected. The individual who has been affected by polio starts having all symptoms of nerve damage.

3. Paralysis: The most important sign of polio is a sudden paralysis of the muscles. This is because of the nerve damage that occurs in Polio. There can be one leg affected by polio. In some people, both the legs can be affected. There can be severe pain in the joints and the muscles that have been affected because of nerve damage.

4. Residual stage symptoms: There is muscle wasting because of the muscle paralysis. The individual is not able to walk in the normal pattern because f the paralysis of the muscles.

Treatment and prevention:

Polio can be prevented by regularly vaccinating the child. Many countries have eradicated polio. There are some countries where polio is still present. In these countries, heath education campaigns and mass vaccinations are provided to reduce the incidence of polio and also to eradicate the disease.

The treatment of polio after it occurs can only be symptomatic. Anti pyretic drugs are given to reduce the fever.

Regular physical therapy is the mainstay of the treatment during the recovery stage. Movement of all joints of the affected part helps to maintain the joints in full range of motion. This helps to prevent stiffness in the joints.

Exercises and strengthening of the muscles that are affected are very helpful in making the muscles to improve a little. They may not be able to prevent the paralysis, but the joint function and the movements can be maintained.

Orthotic appliances: The person who has residual deformities as a result of polio can be given calipers and other orthotic interventions to help the person to be able to walk with support.

Surgery can be done to lengthen muscles that have shortened. Surgery can also be done to maintain the joints in the optimal position to maintain the function of the joint.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: I have completed my Masters Degree in Paediatric Nursing. I am a writer with a passion for writing. I have been writing for some blogs and other sites. Comments are welcome at the following e mail address: deenaanddavid@gmail.com

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