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  1. Polio is an infection caused by a virus that affects the entire body, including muscles and nerves.
  2. There are 3 types of polio: non-paralytic (does not lead to paralysis), spinal-paralytic (can result in the paralysis of one or more limbs), and bulbar (can result in weak muscles, reflex loss, and respiratory problems).
  3. Up to 95% of polio cases show no symptoms. A small number of people may have fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
  4. 1 in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually of the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5 to 10% of patients die when breathing muscles become immobilized.
  5. The virus is found in saliva and feces of sick people. It can be spread by direct contact with sick persons or through the air when a sick person talks, coughs, or sneezes. It is also spread by food, water, or hands contaminated with infected feces.

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  1. Polio can infect a person of any age, but children five and under are especially vulnerable and make up roughly 50% of polio victims.
  2. Polio cases have decreased more than 99% since 1988 from an estimated 350,000 cases to 416 cases in 2013. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.
  3. The World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with the support of key health organizations in 1988 to focus on creating a solution to polio.
  4. As of 2014, three countries remain infected with the virus: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
  5. About 2 to 5 children out of 100 who have paralysis from polio die because the virus affects the muscles that help them breathe.
  6. Jonas Salk produced the first polio vaccine in 1952, the best way to prevent Polio because there is no cure for polio.

Sources

  • 1

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Polio." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web Accessed August 1, 2014

  • 2

    MayoClinic. "Polio." Web Accessed July 31, 2014

  • 3

    New York State Department of Health. "Poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis, polio)." Web Accessed August 1, 2014

  • 4

    World Health Organization. "Poliomyelitis." Web Accessed July 30, 2014

  • 5

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Polio Fact Sheet." Web Accessed August 1, 2014

  • 6

    World Health Organization. "Poliomyelitis." Web Accessed July 30, 2014

  • 7

    World Health Organization. "Poliomyelitis." Web Accessed July 30, 2014

  • 8

    World Health Organization. "Poliomyelitis." Web Accessed July 30, 2014

  • 9

    World Health Organization. "Poliomyelitis." Web Accessed July 30, 2014

  • 10

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Polio Fact Sheet." Web Accessed August 1, 2014

  • 11

    A Science Odyssey. “Salk produces polio vaccine.” PBS. 1998. Web Accessed November 11, 2014

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