Poliomyelitis Case Studies

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Press Centre Fact Sheet by UNICEF
Questions and Answers on Polio in general
Q What is poliomyelitis disease?
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. Approximately one in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, usually in the legs. Among those paralysed, five to ten per cent die when their breathing muscles become immobilized. Poliomyelitis mainly affects children under 5 years of age.
Q How is it transmitted to others?
The virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.
Q How can poliomyelitis treated?
There is
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Q What are the key strategies for eradicating polio?
The four key strategies for eradicating poliomyelitis are:
1) Routine immunization of infants with OPV in the first year of life;
2) supplementary immunization activities, national immunization days and sub-national immunization days (NIDs and SNIDs), during which all children under five years of age are vaccinated, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated before;
3) mop-up campaigns, to ensure that every child is vaccinated and to break the final chains of transmission; and
4) Effective disease surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) to find and investigate every newly paralyzed child to determine if poliomyelitis is the cause of the paralysis.
Q Which vaccine is recommended for polio eradication activity?
Oral polio vaccine is safe, effective, inexpensive, and the recommended vaccine for the global effort to eradicate poliomyelitis. Because of its high levels of immunity, especially in the intestines, it is the only vaccine proven to stop transmission of the virus in developing countries. OPV is easy to deliver. It drops from a vial into the mouth of the child and can be administered by volunteers as well as trained health

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