World Polio Day is celebrated to spread awareness about the importance of vaccinating against polio. The Rotary International established the World Polio Day on October 24 to commemorate the birthday of Jonas Silk. He is the man who developed the first vaccine for the disease with his team. It’s a day to recognize that we have the potential globally to eradicate polio.
What is Polio?
– Polio is an infection caused by a virus that affects the entire body including muscles and nerves.
– 1 in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralyzed, 5 percent to 10 percent die when their breathing muscles become paralyzed.
– Up to 95% of polio cases show no symptoms. A small number of people may have fever, headache, sore throat, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea.
– It can be spread by direct contact with sick persons or through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes.
– About 2 to 5 children out of 100 who have paralysis from polio die because this virus affects the muscles that help them breathe.
– Polio is highly infectious and mainly affects children below 5 years of age.
– There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. The most effective way to prevent polio is with the polio vaccine, which protects you against all three strains of poliovirus.
– Jonas Salk led a team to develop the poliomyelitis vaccine in 1952.
Today on World Polio Day, we bring you some interesting facts that you didn’t know-
Facts about World Polio Day
– Polio is caused by a virus known as the poliovirus, which is very contagious. This is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Jonas Silk.
– There are two types of vaccine that can prevent polio disease –
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
- Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).
– Polio is now endemic only in 3 countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Since the past one year, Nigeria hasn’t reported a case and if this continues to progress, then Nigeria would be declared a polio-free nation.
– On 27 March 2014, the World Health Organization declared India along with other countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal etc polio-free.
– There has been about 99.9% decrease in fatal Polio cases once the awareness campaign had begun. Although we are on the brink of eradicating polio forever but until polio is eliminated worldwide, all countries are at risk.
Let us pledge to eradicate polio on this World Polio Day!