World Polio Day
World Polio Day aims to increase awareness about polio virus and to encourage further actions to reduce it from spreading. The commemoration of the day also highlights the success of global strategies in reducing the spread of the disease.
Polio is a highly infectious disease which targets the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Polio affects children mainly below the age of five, but immune and partially immune adults can still be affected by the disease.
Although the most visible sign of polio is paralysis; only one percent of the effects of the disease is likely to be paralysis.
Polio has no symptoms and can spread widely before paralysis is visible. Those affected by polio are often not aware that hey have the disease.
It is passed through person to person contact. The disease has been eliminated in most countries in the world. There is no treatment for polio. However, the disease can be prevented through vaccination.
There are four main strategies to stop the spread of wild polio virus in the affected areas or the areas highly vulnerable to the risks of infection re-emergence. Thus, these strategies are:
- Vaccinating infants in their first years with four doses of the anti-polio oral vaccine, and guaranteeing highly-immunized coverage with this vaccine.
- Seeking, through the integral immunization activities, to administer complementary doses of the anti-polio oral vaccine for all the children less than five years.
- Detecting the wild polio virus through reporting on all the acute flaccid cases which inflict children, less than fifteen years, and examining them through laboratories.
- Undertaking comprehensive immunization processes, with specific goals when the scope of the polio spread is restricted to specific area.