Polio is a disease that painted in the memory of history painful images that have not been forgotten so far, as those infected with it are still limping while walking to fill the world around us with heartbreak and sadness over the loss of the opportunity for their safety from this disease, and this disease is as old as history and the Pharaonic drawings indicate that.
A view of the historical sequence of polio: historical background
The most severe period of the disease and human infections with it was before the development of the protective vaccine invented by Jonas Salk, which became accessible to health authorities starting from 1955.
Three years before 1955, specifically in 1952, and in the United States of America alone – 60,000 (sixty thousand) cases were detected.
In the last decade of the previous century, in particular, it was considered – theoretically – that the disease had disappeared from America and Europe.
But the disease remains transmissible and capable of harming people living in Africa and Asia.
The disease has been recorded in these countries: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Niger and Nigeria.
Detecting the disease in the aforementioned countries does not mean that the rest of the countries are immune from danger, as long as the disease is not completely eradicated, the disease can enter other countries.
What is polio?
Polio is an infectious viral disease caused by the polio virus, for which a 3D stereoscopic image was obtained with high-resolution techniques through the efforts of a team from Harvard Medical School led by Professor James Hogle, and the image you see below is a photo of his private library that the children hospital in Boston shared.
Method of infection
The infection is transmitted through sprays through sneezing and coughing, and the virus can be transmitted through its secretion with stool in the acute period of the disease, and therefore spontaneous contact with crap contaminated with the virus and ingestion through the mouth causes the transmission of infection, also domestic insects such as flies and cockroaches contribute in the transmission of infection.
Occurrence mechanism of the disease
Through the previous methods, the virus enters the body, where it multiplies in the intestines of the infected child and then moves to the nervous system to begin damaging the nerve cells, especially the moving type, and unfortunately what is damaged by this type of cells cannot be replaced, and therefore the muscles controlled by the nerves that have been damaged will not be able to do their job, which is expressed as paralysis.
The incubation period, which is the period between the entry of the virus into the body and the appearance of symptoms, it ranges from one to five weeks, it should be noted that the child is able to transmit the infection to others ten days before the appearance of symptoms and as long as the germ remains in his throat or stool, he is able to transmit infection to others and usually this germ remains in the throat and stool for months
Symptoms and course of the disease
- About 92% to 95% of cases show no symptoms and is the silent type of polio.
- In 5% to 8% of cases symptoms appear, which can be in one of three forms.
The first form: a light picture that resembles the symptoms of influenza and the case passes as a case like influenza cases.
The second form: more dangerous, as the gray membranes of the brain become inflamed, but without a movement impairment, but there is a type of neuritis symptoms such as excessive sensitivity to light and stiffness or hardening in the neck muscles.
The third form: which ultimately results in paralysis of the muscles of the arm and knee, and it occurs in 0.1% to 2% of the total cases of injury, and the child may become deaf or blind and the respiratory muscles may be injured, causing difficulty in breathing and the matter may develop to the worst, which is death.
Prevention and Cure
- The golden principle (prevention is better than cure) is the principle that must be applied to avoid the occurrence of this disease.
- Citizens must be enlightened and educated about the seriousness of this disease and the need for their children to receive preventive vaccination against this fierce disease.
- Following the Islamic teachings of preventive health would provide prevention, God willing, from infection with the disease, Islam urges the cleanliness of yards and houses, which will prevent the entry of flies and other household insects that can be carriers of the virus.
- Hand washing, cleaning and disinfection after defecation (stool), which is one of the most important preventive means to prevent the transmission of infection, which is exactly what Islam urges.
- Washing hands before and after eating, which is what Islam urges.
- Washing vegetables and fruits before eating them prevents the possibility of the virus entering the body through the digestive system.
- In the event that an individual is infected with the disease, the health authorities must be notified of the case immediately to take urgent preventive measures to prevent the spread of the disease epidemiologically in the area surrounding the infected case, and in this case, the patient must be isolated in the hospital and avoid contact with healthy children with him, and all personnel who got in contact with the infected case must be examined.
- The treatment is to deal with symptoms such as lowering the temperature and giving painkillers, and there is emergency treatment carried out by the specialized medical team, where the case is treated from the beginning under close medical supervision.
- There are also cosmetic and corrective treatments and assistance to reduce the suffering of the disabled child, including physiotherapy and some of which are surgery.
- Obtaining vaccinations included in the basic vaccination system for children according to the following doses:
There are two types of vaccinations, which are oral and intramuscular, and the child is given what is decided by the health authorities in his country according to the global health systems, as well as decided by each country in its standard vaccination system.
Usually, the child needs 4 basic doses before entering school, in addition to a fifth booster dose upon entering school, in addition to benefiting from other annual vaccination campaigns announced in his country as decided by the World Health Organization, where the child takes a vaccination within those annual campaigns even if he has regularly received periodic vaccination doses.
These five doses are scheduled as follows:
- At two months after birth
- At 4 months
- At 6 months
- At 18 months
- 4-6 years old (when entering school)
This is the case in adulthood if parents fail to vaccinate their children.