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The Disease Called Polio - Research Paper Example

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The causative agent was first identified in 1908 by Karl Landsteiner (Paul, 1971). Even though this disease had existed for several hundreds and thousands of years, it was not until 1880s that the disease became major epidemics as it began to occur in Europe and United States (Trevelyan et al., 2005). Since then the epidemic was wide spread and only in 1950s and early 1960s was the vaccine for this disease developed and it declined rapidly in the developed nations. There are still threats of polio in Asian and African countries. CAUSITIVE AGENT: POLIOVIRUS Poliovirus belongs to the group enterovirus and the family Picornaviridae. As a general understanding Enteroviruses are short-lived inhabitants in the gastrointestinal tract as they have stability in the acidic medium (Atkinson et al., 2009). The polio viruses are implanted in the pharynx and gastrointestinal tract of the infected individual. The three serotypes of the viruses are P1, P2, and P3 and there is negligible heterotypic resistance amid the three types. In other words, if a person has resistance to any one serotype, it does not mean that he/she will have signifi­cant resistance to the other serotypes. ...
But it is shown that a vast majority of people who are infected with the poliovirus do not even realize that they've been infected with polio. Researchers have found that the poliovirus attacks local lymphoid tissue, gets into the bloodstream, and later damage the cells of the central nervous system. The multiplication of poliovirus in motor neurons damages the cells particularly of the anterior horn and brain stem that results in appearances of poliomyelitis (Atkinson et al., 2009). Poliomyelitis is classified into two main types – the non-paralytic and the paralytic polio. Among some individuals the symptoms from the poliovirus doesn't lead to paralysis and these are called non-paralytic polio. The initial symptoms of the disease are as common as other viral illnesses such as mild, flu-like signs, fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting, fatigue and stiffness linked with back pain and/or neck pain, stiffness in arms and legs, muscle spasms, and meningitis. These symptoms last for about ten days followed by complete recovery. In exceptional cases, poliovirus infection results in paralytic polio which is one of the most dangerous forms of polio. Depending on the part at which the virus attacks, the paralytic polio is further sub-classified as spinal polio, bulbar polio (brain stem) and bulbospinal polio (brain stem and spinal). Early signs and symptoms of paralytic polio is often the same as the non-paralytic polio or other viral illnesses. However, within a week, signs and symptoms particular to paralytic polio appear and that includes loss of reflexes, severe muscle aches or spasms, loose and floppy limbs either on one side or on both sides and finally paralysis. Additionally, the some of these people may later suffer from post-polio syndrome. This syndrome is a ...Show more
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Summary

POLIO INTRODUCTION Poliomyelitis is a Greek word that can be split into polio (grey) and myelon (marrow, representation of the spinal cord) (Atkinson et al., 2009). Polio is a viral disease that is caused by poliomyelitis virus on the spinal cord that in some cases ends up in lifelong paralysis or death…
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