What are the symptoms of polio

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Saturday, March 13, 2021 6:00 PM


Poliomyelitis is known medically as poliomyelitis , and it is an infectious disease , and it occurs due to the entry of a virus called poliovirus into the body through the mouth or respiratory system, and the virus multiplies and increases its numbers in the throat and intestine, and in fact it can The virus can travel inside the body through the blood, and it can also enter parts of the central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain, while the virus is excreted from the infected person's body through stool, [1] and the poliovirus is often transmitted between individuals through direct contact with the infected person, which may lead to the virus getting from the stool of the infected individual to the mouth of a healthy individual. In some cases, the virus can be transmitted through food and water contaminated with the virus, [2]It is worth noting that most cases of poliovirus infection are considered mild and cause simple symptoms that resemble the symptoms associated with influenza , but there are some severe cases of it. Where the virus attacks nerve cells that help the muscles to do their job, which leads to severe muscle paralysis. [3] In general, the poliovirus affects the age group less than 5 years mostly, but it can infect individuals at any age. The indication that the best and most successful way to prevent disease is vaccinationAgainst the polio virus, and there are two types of vaccines currently used in various countries of the world; The first type is the oral polio vaccine , which is abbreviated OPV, which contains the live attenuated or attenuated virus, and the second type is the inactivated polio vaccine and IPV that is given by injection, and in In fact, the whole world is close to eradicating this virus as a result of improving and developing health conditions, and paying attention to giving the necessary vaccinations. [4]

To learn more about polio, you can read the following article: ( Research on Polio ) .

Symptoms of polio

Cases infected with the polio virus can be divided into four categories, which differ among themselves by the extent of the severity of the symptoms appearing on the patient, and in fact, most cases do not show any symptoms at all, and this category is called latent infection , and the percentage of this category is estimated as Approximately 72%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics .As for the cases that show symptoms, they belong to one of the remaining groups, namely; Abortive poliomyelitis, nonparalytic poliomyelitis, and paralytic poliomyelitis, [5] [6] It should be noted that the incubation period for poliovirus in general ranges between 3 and 35 days, and in cases with paralysis specifically, the incubation period ranges between 7 and 14 days. [7]

Symptoms of miscarried poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis miscarriage is one of the mild cases that does not last for a long time, and the accompanying symptoms may differ from one child to another slightly, but in general it may include some common symptoms, the most important of which are; High body temperature , lower appetite than normal, and stomach upset; Such as nausea, vomiting, sore throat, general feeling of discomfort and malaise in the body, constipation, and abdominal pain. [8]

Symptoms of non-paralytic poliomyelitis

The symptoms accompanying non-paralytic poliomyelitis are more severe than the symptoms associated with the previous type, and the most prominent of which are headache, nausea and severe vomiting, observing the alternation of fatigue and disease with the apparent improvement in the child, then the state of health regression again, and the feeling of pain in the muscles of the neck, trunk, arms and legs, and stiffness The area between the neck and the spine [9] It should be noted that these symptoms usually disappear on their own within ten days and do not cause paralysis for the patient. [10]

Symptoms of paralytic poliomyelitis

The poliovirus can sometimes cause severe and dangerous symptoms if it is from the paralytic poliomyelitis category, as a result of the virus reaching the motor neurons and multiplying inside them and then destroying them, and the virus targets these nerve cells located in the spinal cord or brain stem Or, the part of the cerebral cortex responsible for movement, and it usually causes symptoms similar to non-paralytic poliomyelitis in the beginning, but later it develops into more severe symptoms, the most important of which is; Loss of muscle reflexes, feeling pain and severe muscle cramps, and loose and flexible limbs. Often one side of the body is affected more than the other. In fact, paralytic poliomyelitis can be divided into three types, namely: [11]

  • Spinal polio: In which the virus attacks the motor neurons in the spinal cord, and leads to paralysis of the upper and lower extremities, and causes breathing problems.
  • Bulbar polio: In it, the virus attacks the nerve cells responsible for the process of vision, taste, swallowing, and breathing .
  • Spinal bulbar polio: In this type, all of the symptoms of bulbar and spinal polio are combined together.

Is paralysis or inability to move some parts of the body more and more serious associated symptoms of polio virus, [6] In fact, the majority of infected individuals paralyzed Sastaidon part of their physical strength in the end, some will return them to normal, [5] This is because the degree of paralysis It depends on the number of neurons affected in the viral attack, and in the event that the nerve cells are completely destroyed and destroyed, then paralysis is permanent, while there is hope for recovery from paralysis in the event that the nerve cells are damaged only, where they can be repaired, [3] It should be noted that The incidence of paralysis and weakness of the upper or lower extremities, or both, is estimated to occur in one case out of nearly 200 cases of poliovirus, according to the statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Control. [6]

Symptoms of post-polio syndrome

Post-polio syndrome is defined as a group of signs and symptoms that impede and impair the ability to carry out normal activities, appearing on and affecting the patient several years after infection with the polio virus, [12] and in fact it is not necessarily Post-poliomyelitis syndrome occurs in all cases that have previously contracted the poliovirus, [13] but the risk of developing post-polio syndrome increases in individuals who have had a severe case of acute paralytic poliomyelitis, and in individuals who have contracted the virus at an older age. And for those who had the virus which left them with permanent weakness and disorder, in addition to some physical disability and disability, [14]It should be noted that post-polio syndrome is not contagious, unlike the poliovirus, and its incidence is estimated according to the reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Control that it affects 25 to 40 out of every 100 polio survivors. [15] Symptoms of post-polio syndrome appear very slowly, and include the following: [16]

  • Feeling weak in new muscles as a result of damage from the virus, or overuse of muscles , or because of their lack of use.
  • Feeling fatigue and tiredness from normal activities that did not cause fatigue in the past, feeling sleepy and difficulty thinking clearly.
  • Muscle and joint pain as a result of the great effort that these tissues work with to compensate for the weakness in some muscles of the body.
  • Have trouble swallowing, sleep and tolerate freezing temperatures.

Cases that need to see a doctor

The individual needs to see a doctor to receive the necessary medical care when any signs of muscle weakness or paralysis appear, especially when the body temperature rises, or when suffering from severe headaches associated with a stiff neck and back, although the polio virus may not be the cause In the emergence of these symptoms, but it could be the result of infection with another virus, and this in turn calls for a visit to the doctor as well. [17]

Tips for living with polio

The millions of people who have contracted the polio virus all over the world live, and in fact, the ages of survivors of the virus vary greatly. As there are those who recover from the disease from children whose age does not exceed a few months, and there are those who recover from the elderly elderly who have exceeded the age of ninety, and the challenge of coping with polio depends on the availability of medical care, rehabilitation opportunities, and family support In fact, the treatment is mainly based on support, providing measures that relieve symptoms, improve the comfort of the patient and help him recover his well-being, [18] and what follows is a set of tips for dealing with polio symptoms: [5] [19]

  • Get plenty of bed rest until the body temperature returns to normal.
  • Follow a diet suitable for the patient's health condition.
  • Work to reduce your effort and limit exercise.
  • Use hot compresses to relieve muscle pain.
  • The use of devices and means to assist breathing in the event the patient suffers from paralysis of the muscles of the respiratory system.


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