Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5% of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move. This can occur over a few hours to few days. The weakness most often involves the legs but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Many but not all people fully recover. In those with muscle weakness about 2% to 5% of children and 15% to 30% of adults die. Another 25% of people have minor symptoms such as fever and a sore throat and up to 5% have headache, neck stiffness and pains in the arms and legs. These people are usually back to normal within one or two weeks. In up to 70% of infections there are no symptoms. Years after recovery post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to that which the person had during the initial infection.
Poliovirus is usually spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth. It may also be spread by food or water containing human feces and less commonly from infected saliva. Those who are infected may spread the disease for up to six weeks even if no symptoms are present. The disease may be diagnosed by finding the virus in the feces or detecting antibodies against it in the blood. The disease only occurs naturally in humans.
The disease is preventable with the polio vaccine; Poliomyelitis has existed for thousands of years, with depictions of the disease in ancient art. The disease was first recognized as a distinct condition by Michael Underwood in 1789and the virus that causes it was first identified in 1908 by Karl Landsteiner. Major outbreaks started to occur in the late 19th century in Europe and the United States. In the 20th century it became one of the most worrying childhood diseases in these areas. The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s by Jonas Salk. It is hoped that vaccination efforts and early detection of cases will result in global eradication of the disease by 2018.
We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2016/6837824/ shazia ghafoor and nadeem sheikh, “eradication and current status of poliomyelitis in pakistan: ground realities,” journal of immunology research, vol. 2016, article id 6837824, 6 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/6837824
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2011/798051/ j. anthony byrne, pilar a. fernandez-ibañez, patrick s. m. dunlop, dheaya m. a. alrousan, and jeremy w. j. hamilton, “photocatalytic enhancement for solar disinfection of water: a review,” international journal of photoenergy, vol. 2011, article id 798051, 12 pages, 2011. doi:10.1155/2011/798051