Poliomyelitis

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Polio vaccination by a Ugandan health worker

Also called infantile paralysis.

Polio is an epidemic viral infection that affects or which attacks motor nerves of the anterior horns of the brain stem and spinal cord.

Aetiology
It is caused by polio virus which is in the group of entero-virus.
They are types 1, 2 and 3.
Types 1 and 2 are most virulent.

Incubation period is 7-14 days

Pathology
The virus is spread by ingestion of contaminated materials like food, water.

The infection settles in the mucus membranes, erodes the alignment and then the virus enters into the blood stream and spreads throughout the body

The brain and spinal cord are the most affected.

Mode of Spread
•Transmission is through faecal oral route in contaminated food, water and hands.
•Droplet infection during epidemics

Incidence
All age groups are affected but more in children and young adults

Predisposing factors
•Over crowding
•Poor ventilation
•Poor immunisation coverage
•Poor sanitation and water contamination
•Bad habits for examples not washing hands
•Misconception that polio immunisation causes poliomyelitis

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