Polio's scientific name is Poliomyelitis, and it is a virus.
The virus attacks the Central Nervous System by damaging nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. There are three different types of the disease: sub-clinical. non-paralytic, and paralytic. It is spread through person-to-person contact.
People who are most at risk are infants, people with already existing health conditions. people who live in areas with poor sanitation, and pregnant woman. People who work in laboratories or healthcare workers are most at risk.
Polio is most known for causing paralysis. The symptoms in non-paralytic polio include sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, stomach pain, meningitis, and paralysis. Sub-clinical paralysis is often misdiagnosed as the flu. The symptoms of paralytic polio are similar in the beginning, but after some time symptoms such as loss of reflexes, muscle weakness, floppy limbs, muscle aches, and eventually leads to paralysis. In addition, sub-clinical and non-paralytic do not lead to paralysis. Post-polio syndrome have symptoms that affect people an average of 35 years after they have had Polio. The common symptoms of post-polio symptom are muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle atrophy, depression, memory difficulties, breathing issues, and sleep apnea.
Polio is only present in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Cameroon, and Somalia are at risk for the disease.
The only way to prevent the disease is through vaccination. Now, two vaccinations have been developed; IPV and OPV. There is no cure for the disease. Only the symptoms can be treated through physical therapy, bed rest, pain relief medications, good diet, and ventilators.