What to Know About Polio: Vaccines, Symptoms and How It Spreads
CDC estimates that 1 in 200 people with polio experience paralysis or weakness in an arm, leg, or both. Paralysis usually occurs on one side of the body, according to Dr. Gail Shust, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health. In rare cases, polio-related paralysis can be fatal because the virus can affect the muscles that support breathing.
This highly contagious virus was one of the most feared diseases until the 1950s, when the first vaccine was developed.
Even after recovering from polio, muscle pain, weakness, or paralysis may develop 15 to 40 years later. Children who recover from polio may experience post-polio syndrome as adults, with muscle weakness, fatigue, and joint pain decades after their initial infection.this is I don’t know why A small percentage of people develop post-polio syndrome, but those who have had a severe polio case may be more susceptible.
How is polio spread?
Polio is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person—typically when someone touches their mouth after touching the faeces of an infected person. “Every adult with children knows that’s how germs spread,” he said. Polio can be spread when droplets from a sneeze or cough get into someone’s mouth.
And just like Covid-19, you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
The oral polio vaccine that helped the United States eradicate polio is no longer administered but contains a live, attenuated polio virus. Although safe and effective, on rare occasions a virus weakened by a vaccine can revert to a form that can cause paralysis in others. It is a concern for some unvaccinated people, and for immunocompromised people who may not have acquired immunity from vaccines. He said that in rare cases (about 1 in 2.4 million doses of oral vaccine), a live, attenuated virus can cause paralysis in vaccinated people. The vaccine virus can circulate and spread throughout communities with low immunity.
Health officials in New York have confirmed that a person in Rockland County has been in contact with someone who has been vaccinated with the oral polio vaccine. People in Rockland County were not vaccinated, making them susceptible to polio.
Oral polio vaccine has not been administered in the United States since 2000. Today, the US polio vaccine is a highly effective shot that does not contain live virus, unlike oral vaccines.