Polio or Poliomyelitis is a life-threatening disease caused by the poliovirus. This disease has resulted in many deaths especially in areas where the health sector is not too developed. According to the World Health Organization, Polio cases have decreased by 99% since 1988. There is no cure for polio however there is a vaccine developed to prevent infection from the poliovirus.
The Polio Virus
This virus specifically targets the spinal cord of a person and can spread from one person to another. Some normal symptoms of this disease are Fever, Sore throat, Tiredness, Nausea, Headache, and Stomach Pain.
These symptoms usually disappear after 2-5 days by themselves. However, in rare cases, some people can be a target of some serious symptoms such as Paresthesia which is the feeling of pins and needles in the legs, Meningitis which occurs in 1 out of 25 people who have Polio. Meningitis results in the covering of the brain and the spinal cord by an infection.
The last symptom is Paralysis which is the rarest of all and can occur in 1 out of 200 people who have been affected by the Polio Virus. Paralysis can result in the person not being able to move his arms, legs, and different parts of their body. This can also result in severe weakness in the bones of the arms and legs of the victims.
It was reported by the World Health Organization that only 3 countries still had frequent and consistent cases of Polio. These countries were Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. However, we received some good news on Tuesday the 25th of August 2020 by the WHO that Polio has been eradicated in Africa.
This is amazing news as efforts were being made since 1988 and now the country is finally polio-free. The government of Africa and non-profit organizations delivered almost 9 billion vaccinations which resulted in a big accomplishment of the extermination of polio in Africa.
Africa – Polio-free Continent
This might look like a big achievement and it certainly is but we should not stop the use of the vaccine developed for the Polio Virus. If a single child gets the Polio Virus it can speedily and easily spread to polio-free countries and can result in hundreds and thousands of cases per year as stated by the World Health Organization.
Considering the efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan taken by the government let us hope that these two final countries also become Polio free and another huge accomplishment is made by mankind.
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