The polio vaccine is one of the recommendation vaccines around the world. Children are advised to get polio vaccine to protect against polio or poliomyelitis. The vaccines used to fight against polio are the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is usually given by a shot in the arm or leg based on the age of the patient. In other countries, they provide the oral polio vaccine or OPV.
The recommended doses of polio vaccine for children are four doses. They must be given the vaccines one dose for each of the following ages 2, 4, 6 and 18 months as well as 4 to 6 years old. Children and infants receive the vaccine at the ages that were mentioned before. As for adults, they usually do not need to be vaccinated if they already receive it in their childhood.
However, there are cases when they need to, such as if they go on a trip to a disease risk area. Polio is a viral disease that starts in the gut, which then travels to the nervous system. Since the creation of vaccines, this illness is now rare globally. However, there are still some high-risk areas such as Nigeria, India, and Pakistan.
In most cases of polio, there are usually no symptoms at all. Sometimes, the disease will pass, and the person who has it will not even realize they had the disease. For patients who show symptoms, it is typically similar to flu infection. The usual symptoms include:
The symptoms often do not last past a week. In some really rare cases, it attacks the nerves in the spin, which causes temporary paralysis. As mentioned before, this disease is now extremely rare, but the regions where they may still be cases are in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Without proper protection, the disease can quickly spread to other areas.
Polio is viral, which means it can spread through sneezing and coughing. It can also spread through the traces of the feces of an infected patient. It often spreads when the infected individual contaminates food or water by touching it. Polio’s incubation period is around a week, which is long enough for the infection to spread before the person can even know they have the disease.
In the past, there were rare cases of people contracting polio through the vaccines because of the live virus used in the immunization. However, this is no longer a possibility today since vaccines do not use live virus anymore. One of the concerns of people when it comes to polio is if it can cause permanent paralysis. It is very rare, but there may be lingering effects such as muscle atrophy.
If you came back or have to travel to any of the areas mentioned before where polio is still a risk, proper medical attention is necessary. You can give our clinic a call or book online for an appointment with our physicians. We can provide a consultation and ensure that you did not contract the disease. At the same time, we will help you stay protected through vaccination and thorough aftercare.