Polio Essay

969 Words4 Pages
Polio is a viral disease. It cripples thousands of people and infects even more every year. Even though millions are inoculated, and the polio disease has been successfully purged from hundreds of countries still thousands of people and developing countries are infected and still people are dying. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) polio affects the Central Nervous System, or CNS; by infesting the intestines and transmitting it into the nerves thought the blood vessels. There the virus spreads through the nerve cells to the brain stem or other motor units, while forever damaging the nerves. Symptoms of this plague are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. But even though the polio virus does have symptoms about 90% of people do not experience any symptoms at all, which makes them very susceptible to unknowingly spreading the disease to love ones or strangers playing in his poop. Of those infected with polio only .05% of people come out with any major paralysis. And of the people that have been paralyzed only 5% to 10% will died from the respiratory system being paralyzed. Polio is transmitted from person to person through direct contact to the virus, and because the vast majority of people affected by polio are in developing countries, people don’t wash their hands after handling the disease which provides it another way of transmitting it. And because the disease lives in the intestine for the majority of its life, the only way to directly contact the virus is through stool samples. Doctors can tell that the disease affecting a person is polio through the symptoms and a stool sample. (Who, 2014). The polio virus can be transmitted through contaminated water and food o... ... middle of paper ... ... damaged neurons. (Mayo clinic, 2014). This is called neuroplasticity, the ability for the nerves to compensate for damage caused by some outside force. Because of neuroplasticity physical training works to cure some of the paralysis left by the virus and allows us to walk again after the legs or another appendage is deformed or damaged. Fifty-nine years after the vaccine was introduced to the world, the number of cases of outbreaks has dropped 99% and only three countries still remain in an epidemic state with the virus, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 1994, the WHO Region of the Americas was certified polio-free and in in 2013 only406 reported cases were existent in the world, compared to the 350 000+ cases in 1988. (Who, 2014). So it is clear that the vaccine is working, and a plan of action to completely eradicate polio from the world by 2018 or 2020.
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