Resurgence of Polio

Poliomyelitis (also known as polio) is a serious disease caused by the polio virus and usually affects children below the age of 5 years. The virus affects the nerve causing damage and paralysis of the muscles supplied by the nerve or spinal cord.  The disease is highly infectious because the virus can spread from person to person via oral-faecal route through contaminated food or water.


1. Non-paralytic polio (majority of cases are in this group)

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache (with or without meningitis)
  • Generalised ache

2. Paralytic polio (occurs in 1-2% of those infected)

  • Breathing difficulty (if the lung muscles are affected)
  • Weakness or paralysis of a limb (if the leg muscles are affected)

Click to view PAHO TV video on Polio


There is NO cure for polio and the aim of treatment is to provide pain or symptom relieve and prevent the virus spread to other people.

Prevention by Vaccination

Vaccination provides protection against of the disease by inducing the body to make antibodies to fight against any polio virus in the body.  In most countries, the vaccination is given within the first 6 months of the child’s birth and a booster at the age of 18 months.  If you do need to travel to a polio endemic region of the world, ask your doctor if you need to have a polio vaccine booster.

There are 2 types of polio vaccines namely;

1. The oral vaccine in the form of drops (OPV)

2. The polio vaccine in the form of injection (IPV)

Click to watch WHO video on Polio vaccine

Talk to your doctor about your vaccination schedule

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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