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Polio

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route. The term derives from the Greek polios (πολιός), meaning, grey, myelós (µυελός), referring to the spinal cord, and the suffix -itis, which denotes inflammation. Although around 90% of polio infections cause no symptoms at all, affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream. In about 1% of cases the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis. Different types of paralysis may occur, depending on the nerves involved. Spinal polio is the most common form, characterized by asymmetric paralysis that most often involves the legs. Bulbar polio leads to weakness of muscles innervated by cranial nerves. Bulb spinal polio is a combination of bulbar and spinal paralysis. Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus poliovirus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age, but affects mainly children under three. Polio is mainly passed through person-to-person (i.e., fecal-oral) contact, and infects persons who do not have immunity against the disease. There is no cure for polio, but the disease can be prevented by immunization with polio vaccine. Oral polio vaccine (OPV) was developed in 1961 by Dr Albert Sabin; OPV is a highly effective, safe and inexpensive vaccine, and has been used in all countries of the world to achieve polio eradication. Along with all 192 members nations of the World Health Organization, the Government of India in 1988 committed the nation to the goal of global polio eradication. Since 1995, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has been conducting intensive immunization and surveillance activities aimed at the complete elimination of poliovirus and paralytic polio. The National Polio Surveillance Project, which was launched in 1997, provides technical and logistic assistance to the GoI, and works closely with state governments and a broad array of partner agencies to achieve the goal of polio eradication in India. India has reached the final stage of polio eradication. The polio partnership in India, under the leadership of the Government of India, mounted tremendous response to the outbreak. The progress since 2003 is the most significant in the history of polio eradication in India. Surveillance sensitivity was increased to reach the goal for polio eradication. Since nearly all polio cases now occurring in India are caused by type 1 poliovirus in children, monovalent oral polio vaccine type 1 (mOPV1) was introduced in select high-risk districts of UP, Bihar and Mumbai-Thane during the April and May 2005 National Immunisation Days and the June and August 2005 in 6 sub-national immunisation rounds. Strategies were also being implemented to improve the impact of supplementary immunisation activities in the high-risk areas. As a result of supplementary immunisation activities targeted using surveillance data, India has made striking progress towards polio eradication. Let us read our awareness in this matter.

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