24 October is celebrated as World Polio Day (Download PDF)

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About polio: Poliovirus Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly communicable viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5. The virus is transferred from person - to - person.

  • It chiefly spreads through the faecal - oral route i. e. by contaminated water or food.
  • It enters the body and multiplies in the intestine, from where it attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis.
  • Early symptoms include fever, fatigue, vomiting, headache, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs.
  • There is no cure for polio, yet it can only be prevented by immunization.

About world polio day: World Polio Day is witnessed across the world on 24 October every year.

  • The day finds to create awareness about the threats of Polio disease.
  • World Polio Day has been established by Rotary International to honor the birth of Jonas Salk who had directed the first team of researchers which had developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
  • Rotary International has organised numerous events across different countries on this day.
  • It is also planning to make world Polio free by 2019 by stepping up its vaccination campaigns.
  • Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) which was launched in 1988 has played essential role in elimination of wild poliovirus.
  • When the initiative was launched the wild poliovirus was present in 125 countries.
  • Now, it is present in two countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Till 2012, Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, was the pool of more than half of the Polio cases in the world.
  • But in 2015, World Health Organization (WHO) has removed Nigeria from the list of Polio prevalent countries.
  • The development had led to extensive use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and afterwards use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin.

- Published/Last Modified on: October 29, 2015

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