Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How worried should you be about new reports on polio?

Poliovirus detected in New York City wastewater last week put public health officials on high alert, as it indicates the potentially paralyzing virus is circulating widely in the area.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Polio detected in NYC's sewage, suggesting virus circulating

The virus that causes polio has been found in New York City's wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn't been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

London kids to be offered polio shot after more virus found

Children ages 1-9 in London were made eligible for booster doses of a polio vaccine Wednesday after British health authorities reported finding evidence the virus has spread in multiple areas of the city but found no cases ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Seven things to know about polio

New York state health officials warned last week that hundreds of people may have been infected with the polio virus, based on recent wastewater testing in different counties within New York state.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Polio fears rise in New York amid possible community spread

New York state health officials issued a more urgent call Thursday for unvaccinated children and adults to get inoculated against polio, citing new evidence of possible "community spread" of the dangerous virus.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Polio virus found in more NY wastewater after recent case

The polio virus was detected in more wastewater samples north of New York City, this time in a county adjacent to where an unvaccinated adult recently contracted the life-threatening disease.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Polio virus found in New York wastewater, but no new cases

The polio virus was detected in wastewater samples from the suburban county near New York City where an unvaccinated adult recently contracted the life-threatening disease, but health officials said Tuesday they have not ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What the polio case in New York tells us about the end of polio

No one studying polio knew more than Albert Sabin, the Polish-American scientist whose vaccine against the crippling disease has been used worldwide since 1959. Sabin's oral vaccine provides lifelong immunity. It has one ...

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Poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route. The term derives from the Greek poliós (πολιός), meaning "grey", myelós (µυελός), referring to the "spinal cord", and the suffix -itis, which denotes inflammation.

Although approximately 90% of polio infections cause no symptoms at all, affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream. In about 1% of cases the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis. Different types of paralysis may occur, depending on the nerves involved. Spinal polio is the most common form, characterized by asymmetric paralysis that most often involves the legs. Bulbar polio leads to weakness of muscles innervated by cranial nerves. Bulbospinal polio is a combination of bulbar and spinal paralysis.

Poliomyelitis was first recognized as a distinct condition by Jakob Heine in 1840. Its causative agent, poliovirus, was identified in 1908 by Karl Landsteiner. Although major polio epidemics were unknown before the late 19th century, polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century. Polio epidemics have crippled thousands of people, mostly young children; the disease has caused paralysis and death for much of human history. Polio had existed for thousands of years quietly as an endemic pathogen until the 1880s, when major epidemics began to occur in Europe; soon after, widespread epidemics appeared in the United States.

By 1910, much of the world experienced a dramatic increase in polio cases and frequent epidemics became regular events, primarily in cities during the summer months. These epidemics—which left thousands of children and adults paralyzed—provided the impetus for a "Great Race" towards the development of a vaccine. Developed in the 1950s, polio vaccines are credited with reducing the global number of polio cases per year from many hundreds of thousands to around a thousand. Enhanced vaccination efforts led by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Rotary International could result in global eradication of the disease.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA