polio vaccination at home

what is polio?

The polio disease is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. This attacks the entire nervous system. Children younger than 5 years of age are more likely to contract the virus and suffer from polio than other age groups. That is why, it is important to take the polio drops for children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 200 polio infections will result in permanent paralysis. However, due to the global polio eradication initiative of 1988, the following regions are now free from polio:

  • Americas
  • Europe
  • Western Pacific
  • Southeast Asia

polio symptoms

95 to 99 percent of people who contract polio virus do not show symptoms and are known as asymptomatic. This is called subclinical polio. Even though people do not show symptoms, it is possible for people infected with poliovirus to spread the virus and cause infection in other people. Taking the polio drops can prevent this from happening because Polio in India is almost eradicated, last reported case was in 2011.

Non-paralytic polio

Non-paralytic polio has symptoms that can last from anywhere between 1 and 10 days. These symptoms may resemble a flu and can include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Meningitis

This type of polio is also known as abortive polio.

Paralytic polio

About 1 percent of polio cases can develop into paralytic polio. This type of polio causes paralysis in the spinal cord (spinal polio). It can also cause brainstem (bulbar polio), or both (bulbospinal polio). This is why it is important to follow the polio drops schedule.

Initial symptoms are similar to non-paralytic polio. But after a week, more severe symptoms will appear. These symptoms include:

  • loss of reflexes
  • severe spasms and muscle pain
  • loose and floppy limbs, sometimes on just one side of the body
  • sudden paralysis, temporary or permanent
  • deformed limbs
  • It’s rare for full paralysis to develop.

polio causes

Polio is a highly contagious virus. It can be transmitted through contact with faeces of an infected person.  Sometimes polio can also be transmitted through a sneeze or a cough. This is because the virus lives in the throat and intestines. However, this is less common.

Pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems are susceptible to the polio virus.

If you have not been vaccinated from Polio in India, there is a chance that you may contract polio when you:

  • Travel to an area that is not polio free
  • Come in contact with someone infected with polio
  • Get your tonsils removed
  • Undergo extreme stress after exposure to the virus

polio treatment

There is no cure for polio. The best way to prevent it is with is polio vaccination. Doctors can only treat the symptoms once you have polio.

These are some of the things that may make you more comfortable:

  • Bed rest
  • Painkillers
  • Antispasmodic drugs to relax muscles
  • Antibiotics for urinary tract infections
  • portable ventilators to help with breathing
  • Physical therapy or corrective braces
  • Heating pads or warm towels
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

In advanced cases of leg weakness, you may need a wheelchair or other mobility device.

polio vaccination

Polio vaccines are vaccines that are administered to prevent poliomyelitis (polio). There are two types of polio vaccine used:

  • An inactivated poliovirus given by injection (IPV vaccine or injectable polio vaccine)
  • Weakened poliovirus given by mouth (OPV vaccine or oral polio vaccine).

These two vaccines – the IPV vaccine and OPV vaccine have managed to eradicate polio from most parts of the world.

ipv vaccine

IPV vaccine or Inactivated Polio Vaccine is an injectable polio vaccine as compared to the OPV vaccine. In 2000, OPV vaccine was switched out for IPV vaccine.

who needs the polio vaccine and polio vaccine schedule

Most people should get the polio vaccine when they are children. You can get polio vaccination done at nearby polio vaccination centre/booth. Children should get the polio vaccination with four doses of IPV at the following ages.

polio vaccination/drops schedule

  • A dose at 2 months
  • A dose at 4 months
  • A dose at 6-18 months
  • A booster dose at 4-6 years

IPV or injectable polio vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccinations.

The Oral Polio Vaccine has a similar polio vaccine schedule. You can have your child vaccinated at polio drops booth near you.

opv vaccine

OPV vaccine or oral polio vaccine is a mixture of live attenuated poliovirus strains of each of the three serotypes.

post polio syndrome

It’s possible for polio to return even after you’ve recovered. This is why following the polio drops schedule is so important. PPS can occur after 15 to 40 years. Common symptoms of post-polio syndrome (PPS) are:

  • muscle and joint weakness
  • muscle pain that gets worse
  • sleep-related breathing problems
  • low tolerance at cold temperatures
  • becoming easily fatigued or exhausted
  • muscle wasting, also called muscle atrophy
  • trouble in breathing and swallowing
  • weakness in previously uninvolved muscles
  • depression
  • trouble with concentration and memory

how can we help?

At Portea, we are committed to giving you and your family the best medical care you can find right at your home. Give us a call and we will send in our best medical experts to take good care of you.

Disclaimer: Polio Vaccination not administered by Portea. Please download the list of authorized centers in India to administer polio-vaccinations vaccination

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