Poliomyelitis is a viral disease that can affect nerves and can lead to partial or full paralysis.
CAUSES, INCIDENCE AND RISK FACTORS
Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the polio virus. The virus spreads by:
Direct person-to-person contact
Contact with infected mucus or phlegm from the nose or mouth
Contact with infected feces
The virus enters through the mouth and nose, multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract, and then is absorbed and spread through the blood . The time from being infected with the virus to developing symptoms of disease(incubation) ranges from 5 - 35 days (average 7 - 14 days).
Lack of immunization against polio
Travel to an area that has experienced a polio outbreak In areas where there is an out break,those most likely to get the disease include children, pregnant women,and the elderly. The disease is more common in the summer .
There are three basic patterns of polio infection: sub clinical infections, non paralytic,and paralytic. About 95% of infections are sub clinical infections, which may not have symptoms.
SUB CLINICAL INFECTION SYMPTOMS
People with sub clinical polio infection might not have symptoms, or their symptoms may last 72 hours or less.
Clinical poliomyelitis affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and is divided into non paralytic and paralytic forms. It may occur after recovery from a sub clinical infection.
NON PARALYTIC POLIO MYELITIS
Back pain or backache
Excessive tiredness, fatigue
Leg pain (calf muscles)
Muscle tenderness and spasm in any area of the body
Neck pain and stiffness
Pain in front part of neck
Pain or stiffness of the back, arms, legs, abdomen
Skin rash or lesion with pain
Symptoms usually last 1 - 2 weeks.
PARALYTIC POLIO MYELITIS
• Fever 5 -7 days before other symptoms
• Abnormal sensations (but not loss of sensation) in an area
• Bloated feeling in abdomen
• Breathing difficulty
• Difficulty beginning to urinate
• Irritability or poor temper control
• Muscle contractions or muscle spasms in the calf, neck, or back
• Muscle pain
• Muscle weakness that is only on one side or worse on one side
o Comes on quickly
o Location depends on where the spinal cord is affected
o Worsens into paralysis
• Sensitivity to touch; mild touch may be painful
• Stiff neck and back
• Swallowing difficulty
SIGNS AND TESTS
The healthcare provider may find:
. Abnormal reflexes
• Back stiffness
• Difficulty lifting the head or legs when lying flat on the back
Trouble bending the neck
• Cultures of throat washings, stools, or cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF)
• Routine CSF examination
Test for levels of antibodies to the polio virus
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