is a contagious disease which affects mostly school children. However, it can
also affect adults. Poliomyelitis comes from the Picornavirus family. This
virus is a waterborne disease caused by the Industrial Revolution, from the
transition done by people leaving the agriculture life and moving to the city
life. This caused the population to grow, and not having enough insulation, or
air flow, caused Polio to spread. Three types of Polio were discovered:
Sub-clinical, Non-paralytic and Paralytic some were more aggressive than
others. There is no specific treatment or cure for Polio, but there were other palliative
ways to help with the pain. Today there are only two countries left with a
large outbreak of Polio and researchers are working on making the world Polio
is also known as Polio, a highly contagious from a person to a person who is
affected with the virus. The virus goes through the mouth to the
gastrointestinal track spreading to motor neurons damaging the central nervous
system causing paralysis. This paper will explain the structure of Polio, how it
affects a person, the types, history and where polio stands today.
the study done by Yin-Murphy and Almond (1996), describe Polio as “the picornavirus virion is an
icosahedral, nonenveloped, small (22 to 30 nm) particle.” The
virus searches for an appropriate cell to be able to inject the virus genetic
to be able to make copies out if. The virus is a positive single stranded of
RNA. Polio comes from the
family of Picornaviridae, genus name Enterovirus. The virus likes to live in
acidic pH environments.
According to Peters (2005), she describes this
virus as “waterborne disease.” which
means the virus needs a transportation vector such as water droplets or
standing water, which will then infect a host. Once in the human body the virus
will begin to replicate and spread throughout, attacking mainly the nervous
system. It is a contagious virus which
affects mostly children. Polio is
transmitted through contaminated water as well form person to person. “The
virus enters through the mouth and leaves the body in fecal matter “(Peters,
2005, p. 3). Once inside the mouth it makes its way through the
gastrointestinal tract spreading and destroying the motor neurons making the
muscles no longer work.
The motor neurons are neurons that expend
form the central nervous system, The CNS is compose of the brain and the spinal
cord. When the motor neurons in the central nervous system are damaged they are
not able be rebuild themselves. This is when the virus can cause a full
paralysis in a person depending on how damage the motor neurons are (Polio,
(2005-2017) describe three types of Polio. They are categorized depending on
the symptoms and the damage done by the motor neurons.
Is the most common virus. This virus does not present symptoms and
approximately 95 percent of the individuals. Sub-clinical individuals are
typically asymptomatic which means it does not affect the central nervous
2. Non-paralytic: An individual might have mild symptoms like
the flu. The symptoms could last up to ten days. This symptom is also known as abortive Polio.
It is known as the most serious and rarest which makes one percent of polio
cases. Paralytic initials with mild symptoms but after ten days it could cause
full paralysis which could cause the bulb spinal polio (affects both the spine
and brainstem). The partial paralysis consists of the spinal polio (affects the
spine), or bulbar polio (affects the brainstem), (Healthline, 2005-2017).
are no specific treatments for Polio. The objective is to minimize and try to
control the symptoms of the virus. Some of the treatment include breathing
assistance. An example is “Iron Lung” machine used for all those patients that
were paralysis from the spine causing not to be able to breath by themselves, (Peters,
2005). Antibiotics can also be used to reduce muscle pain and spasms,
painkillers to reduce headaches, muscle pain and spasms, and physical therapy.
Physical therapy can be corrective shoes or braces worn by the patient making
them able to strengthen their muscle mobility and tone. (Healthline, 2005-2017).
is believed Polio has existed since 1500 B.C. by an ancient carving of a man
with weakened leg holding a stick and leaning on support. By 1789 the first
clinical case was found by a British doctor named Michael Underwood (Peters,
2005, p. 8).
the Industrial Revolution, people were transitioning from working in
agriculture to working inside factories. People were moving to the city, making
the city grow exponentially, creating cramped quarters. The large crowed of
population of countryside immigrants moving to the city made industrial
buildings have insufficient insulation and sewage system causing unsanitary drinking
water, this created an open door to waterborne illnesses and epidemics to start
(Peters, 2005, p.10).
the 20th century the epidemic started in New York City and spread
throughout the United States. There were 27,000 people nationwide diagnosed and
7,000 had died before the epidemic ended (Peters, 2005).
infants and children were the most affected with Polio because of their weaker
immune systems. Adults with compromised
immune systems also, became a target of this disease, including President
Franklin Roosevelt who also came a victim at an age of 39. Roosevelt did his
recovery at Warm Spring, Georgia. He later turned it into a nonprofit
rehabilitation center for patients with Polio. (Peters, 2005, p. 31-32).
the year 1979 the last active case in the United States with Polio was reported
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).
to Tortora (2013), There are two types of vaccine available. Dr. Jonas Salk was the first developer of the
polio vaccine. “It consists of viruses of all three types that have been
inactivated (killed) by treatment with Formalin” (Tortora, 2013, pg. 627). This
vaccine was known as inactivated polio vaccine or IVP. It was given to school
children once it was approved. Doctors across the county to give the
vaccination to patients leading to a large decrease of the virus (Peters, 2005,
addition, Albert Sabin also developed a vaccine which contained a living
(weakened) strain in a suspension. It gave a long-life protection and it was
easy to be administered. This vaccine is also known as the OPV (oral polio
vaccine), (Tortora, 2013, pg. 627). The organization called “WHO” (World Health
Organization) gave the authorization for Sabin’s vaccine to be administered to
children who suffer from polio in some parts of Russia. Later the OVP vaccine was
used in the United States due to it costing less than Salk’s vaccine (Peters,
2005, p. 57).
to an unknown author (2017), In the year 2000 IPV become the main polio vaccine
used in the United States. Experts believe OPV was not worth a risk of bring
the disease back.
are two countries remaining with active cases of the Poliomyelitis virus, Afghanistan
with five cases reported and Pakistan with one case reported this year in 2017.
However, treatment as the IVP and the OPV still remains in these countries. The
WHO are working in delivering vaccines to those places where there are still
children diagnosed with Polio (Where We Work).
virus has been around for many years, and has affected many, including
children, and adults like President Franklin Roosevelt. Because of becoming a
victim with this disease, he helped contribute rehabilitation centers for those
battling the same disease. This waterborne virus attacks the nervous system,
creating debilitating muscle weakness. Thanks to the vaccines of Stalk and
Sabin, Polio is close to being non-existent.
medicine and studies advance. The hope is for one-day Polio can be eliminated
from this world.