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World Polio Day

Poliomyelitis is an acute highly contagious infectious disease caused by damage to the gray matter of the spinal cord and characterized mainly by pathology of the nervous system, leading to paresis or paralysis of muscles. It is caused by a wild strain of poliovirus, which is the smallest representative of intestinal viruses. 
Transmission of the virus occurs, as a rule, by the fecal-oral route, through dirty hands, food, water, and household items, due to the high concentration of the pathogen in the feces of a sick person, an airborne transmission mechanism is also possible. 
The source of infection can be a patient, regardless of the form of the disease, as well as an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. Young children (usually under six years old) are most often affected, but in some cases, the virus can affect adolescents and adults who are not vaccinated. 
The incubation period is from 3 to 35 days, most often 7-14 days. A person gets sick suddenly, nausea, vomiting, general weakness, muscle weakness in the legs and arms, and headache. The most dangerous clinical forms are those accompanied by paralysis of limb muscles, diaphragm muscles, and respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.
As the world moves closer to the successful eradication of wild poliovirus, the problem of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses arises. As a result of prolonged vaccination with oral polio vaccine and insufficient coverage of routine immunization, circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) have emerged, which have acquired the properties of wild strains. 
Thus, in June and July 2015, 2 cases of acute flaccid paralysis in unvaccinated children aged 10 months and 4 years were detected in the Transcarpathian region. The cases had no epidemiological link and were not geographically connected. However, strains of poliovirus of vaccine origin were isolated from both children, which, according to the WHO European Office, had 17 identical mutations. This indicates that both viruses are descendants of the same genetically altered vaccine-derived poliovirus, and the cases of the disease caused by it are considered vaccine-associated paralytic polio.
The only protection against poliomyelitis caused by wild poliovirus and vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis is herd immunity, with a vaccination rate of over 95% among the population.
For vaccination, inactivated (killed) polio vaccine (IPV) and oral (life, containing a strongly weakened virus) polio vaccine (OPV) are used. In Ukraine, the inactivated vaccine is used in the form of injections for the first two vaccinations at 2 and 4 months, oral polio vaccine - in the form of drops at 6 months, and revaccination - at 18 months, 6, and 14 years. 
Do not put your children at risk of polio - get them vaccinated!

(с) 2024

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