Poliomyelitis: An Acute Infectious Disease

Mariya Siddiqui


P oliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus belonging to the Picornaviridae family. In 1894, first outbreak of polio in epidemic form in the U.S, occurs in Vermont, with 132 cases. 1908, Kari Landsteiner and Erwin Popper identify a virus as the cause of polio by transmitting the disease to a monkey. Polio virus is an enterovirus, types 1,2 and 3 cause disease, although type 2 has been eradicated as a wild type virus. Polio is highly contagious virus that can result in spinal cord and brainstem paralysis. It most commonly affects children under 5 years old. 1 in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis and among those paralysed , 5 to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized . Cases due to wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99% since 1988 from an estimated 350000 cases then to 33 reported cases in 2018. As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world-(WHO).Awarness about proper immunization and at right time should be emphasized so that it can be completely eradicated and this public health issues of disability could be eradicated especially among adolescents for establish lifelong immunity and healthy wellbeing.

Relevant Publications in Journal of Infectious Diseases: Prevention and Control