In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Office of Special Services (OSS) is working to raise awareness of disabilities by offering daily facts and tips about people with disabilities and living with disability. Please take a minute to read and broaden your understanding.
October is Polio Awareness Month
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g., contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.
- Polio (poliomyelitis) mainly affects children under 5 years of age.
- One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
- Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases then, to 359 reported cases in 2014. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.
- Today, only 2 countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988.
- As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.
- In most countries, the global effort has expanded capacities to tackle other infectious diseases by building effective surveillance and immunization systems.
Polio and its symptoms
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
Today, only 2 countries in the world remain endemic for the disease–the smallest geographic area in history. Of the 3 strains of wild poliovirus (type 1, type 2, and type 3), wild poliovirus type 2 was eradicated in 1999 and case numbers of wild poliovirus type 3 are down to the lowest-ever levels with the no cases reported since November 2012 from Nigeria.
The above information and more can be found here.