What is Polio?
The poliovirus, also known as poliomyelitis and infantile paralysis, is an infection caused by a virus that can eventually lead to troubles in breathing, paralysis, and even death. Polio is highly contagious, and the paralysis is caused by the virus attacking the nervous system.
History of Polio
In 1789, Michael Underwood, a British physician, provided the first clinical description of the polio disease.
In 1894, the first-ever polio outbreak that was considered to be in an epidemic form was recorded in the United States. This happened in Vermont with a total of 132 cases. Another large polio outbreak happened in 1916 in the United States.
At around 1930s, two major strains of the poliovirus were identified. Later it was determined that there are three strains of poliovirus.
In 1947 to 1950, Dr Jonas Salk was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh to conduct and develop a poliovirus research as well as to commence a polio typing project which will be funded through a grant.
In 1953, Dr Jonas Salk and his associates were able to develop a type of injected polio vaccine using an inactivated poliovirus. Technically, the virus is killed, so it is potentially safe. Through different field testing and clinical trials, the incidents of polio have decreased significantly.
Polio Causes and Acquisition
The poliovirus spreads through infected feces or stool, and this commonly occurs when a child has poor sanitation or handwashing habits. If children do not wash their hands or wash them incorrectly. If a child also eats or drinks from food or water that contains the virus, chances are, they can acquire polio.
Another possible way of acquiring polio is when a child who has already been infected with the poliovirus coughs or sneezes. The virus may spread as infected droplets are coughed or sneezed into the air.
If there is an active poliovirus or polio incident in an area, there is a high risk of transmission of the poliovirus to children who did not yet get a polio vaccine. Developing