4 Most Asked Questions on Google | World Polio Day 2021
What is Polio?
Also known as poliomyelitis, polio is a potentially life-threatening form of viral illness. Polio is caused by the consumption of contaminated water and food and infects only humans.
Probably one of the most severe paralysis symptoms, polio can tend to cause permanent disabilities, breathing problems, and even death at times.
Why is World Polio Day Celebrated?
World Polio Day is celebrated every year on the 24th day of October. Why is the day celebrated, and why is it important to recognize this day in particular?
Well, the celebration was established by Rotary International more than a decade ago in remembrance of Jonas Salk, the scientist leading the team of developers working on finding the first-ever polio vaccine!
World Polio Day is celebrated with two major objectives in mind:
- Eradication of Polio; and
- Raising Awareness for Polio Vaccination.
Apart from this, the day also recognizes the contributions of volunteers and healthcare workers who step up to ensure that every child gets vaccinated against the crippling disease on time.
World Polio Day, 2021’s theme is: Delivering on a Promise
This year’s theme revolves around the latest Polio Eradication Strategy for 2022 to 2026.
At Medpho, we decided to take up 4 Polio Questions on Google. Come, let’s dive in!
Q 1: What causes Polio?
Polio is caused by ‘poliovirus’. Yes, evidently, a virus!
Poliovirus enters the human body through the nose or mouth and further moves to the respiratory and digestive systems. The virus has the tendency to proliferate in the throat and intestines and enter the bloodstream from here. What’s more, poliovirus can also attack the nervous system. Now, that’s havoc, isn’t it?
Q 2: Do people still get Polio?
Thanks to the polio vaccine, volunteers, and healthcare professionals, India has remained a polio-free state for a decade. While the WHO granted India the ‘polio-free certification’ on March 27, 2014, the last reported polio case in India dates back to January 13, 2011.
Therefore, there’s been zero year-round transmission of poliovirus in India.
Q 3: What country did Polio come from?
The very first case of the ‘Polio Epidemic’ occurred in the form of approximately 14 outbreaks near Oslo, Norway. This was way back in 1868. The next outbreak of 13 cases was reported in 1881 in Northern Sweden.
It was around 1881 itself that scientists began suggesting the contagious nature of these infantile paralysis outbreaks.
Q 4: What is the life expectancy of someone with Polio?
The most treacherous aspect of polio is that the affected person might not have any signs or symptoms associated with polio in their early years. The effects might crop up later in life, and can emerge after 15 or more years from the onset!
It is also important to note that polio symptoms vary at extremities, i.e., they might range anywhere between mild flu and life-threatening paralysis. Although rare, there are cases where polio has led to permanent paralysis of arms and legs, and increased problems with breathing. However, almost 5-10% of people suffering from paralytic polio die of the disease.
Since its onset, polio has crippled the lives of many. Today, while several nations stand safe and free from polio, there are others who are still trapped in the web. To get a clear picture, 5 out of 6 polio prevalent WHO-marked regions have managed to eradicate the disease’s emergence. However, the Polio Eradication Strategy has been formed keeping in mind those “1’s”. The goal to create a Polio-Free World will be achieved soon, hopefully.
Till then, how can you contribute? Pass on the knowledge to your kids. Spread awareness about the importance of immunization, and get help for the ones who need it the most.
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