Wishing for a healthy and happy life is a thought that has never skipped anyone’s mind. Can you imagine that thought taking a downfall, owing to it all to polio? Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that attacks the nervous system usually resulting in paralysis which is generally permanent. Polio has no cure yet, but it can be very well prevented.
It mainly affects children under the age of five and newborn babies are the most vulnerable victims of this infectious virus. A child with hands and legs paralyzed is not well equipped for leading a normal and comfortable life and is incapable of attaining his/her ultimate potential. This results in a drastically hampered future.
The virus ‘Poliomyelitis’ that causes polio dwells in the throat and intestinal tract of humans. It also thrives in poor sanitary conditions. People with weak immunity and people who haven’t been immunized are most likely to be affected by the poliovirus, mostly when they are exposed to an infected person or contaminated areas. The symptoms of the Polio-virus can be as simple as a mere headache, sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea, muscle weakness, and muscle pain.
The two types of widely used vaccines for protection against polio are IPV – Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine and OPV -Oral Poliovirus Vaccine. IPV is in the form of an injection and the other in the form of drops.
In 1988, the wild the Polio-virus was endemic in 125 countries globally, paralyzing more than 1000 children every day & In India, nearly 2,00,000 cases were reported in 1985. India was considered the toughest place in the world to eradicate Polio. However, in 1995 the Government of India along with WHO, CDC, and UNICEF vowed to eradicate Polio in India.
Watch the video to know about the transformation of India from being a Polio endemic country to a Polio-free country.
The perfect time to get vaccinated against the poliovirus is as a child but if ignored can be taken as an adult as well with the following specifications:
– For Child – It is advisable to get your child vaccinated with 4 doses of IPV before the age of 6
– For Adults –. In case you have never been vaccinated against polio you can get 3 doses of IPV. People above the age of 18 traveling to places where polio is still common and for health care workers booster doses are recommended. It is advisable for pregnant mothers to avoid the vaccine during their pregnancy. Parents need not be worried about the child taking multiple vaccinations as it helps your child increase his/her immunity against polio. Sometimes the vaccination might cause an allergy.
Pregnant mothers, infants, children, and adults with weak immunity need to be on the watch for polio and especially if they are living in unhygienic conditions. Even if you are vaccinated or immunized against poliovirus it is best to avoid places where polio is common and avoid contact with someone affected by poliovirus.
Besides the vaccination and prevention of polio, it is recommended to follow a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits. This will help you fight not just polio but other health issues as well. The fight to eradicate polio is everyone’s fight! And we are at the edge of winning it. So let us all contribute and succeed! Parents stay aware and don’t miss out on vaccinating their children. Adults, if not vaccinated, ensure you get immunized at the earliest. Why endure and suffer when prevention is just a vaccination away!
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