WHO Southeast Asia region, 5 years of being polio-free WHO Southeast Asia region, 5 years of being polio-free
According to the World Health Organization, March 27  is a memorable day as India, and the rest of the Southeast Asia region will celebrate... WHO Southeast Asia region, 5 years of being polio-free

According to the World Health Organization, March 27  is a memorable day as India, and the rest of the Southeast Asia region will celebrate half a decade of being free from polio.

Around 12 years ago, India alone holds 70 percent of the world’s polio cases. And right now, its success against polio is considered one of the best achievements in public health. It proved that even with a challenging environment, the disease can be eliminated with strong commitment and dedication.

If polio was not addressed globally, there would probably be 16 million people who are paralyzed because of the virus.

Even if our region is free from the disease, it is still important for our younger generation to understand what polio is. Thus, we have summarized the most important information that you have to know about the virus.

What is polio?

Polio is a deadly infectious disease and caused by poliovirus. It can spread from person to person and can affect the patient’s brain and spinal cord. This can result to paralysis or the inability to move certain parts of the body. Children under five years old are usually at risk.

What are the symptoms?

India and Southeast Asia Polio free

Surprisingly, most people who are infected with the virus will not show visible symptoms. However, some will have symptoms that are listed below and can last for two to five days:

  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • fever
  • nausea
  • sore throat

And then there are those who experience more serious symptoms:

  • meningitis
  • paresthesia
  • paralysis

In few cases, children who were able to ‘recover’ may experience post-polio syndrome wherein they have muscle pains or even paralysis, 15 to 40 years later.

How is it being transmitted?

The virus only infects humans and can spread through person-to-person contact. Remember that it is contagious and deadly. The poliovirus can live in an infected person’s feces for weeks!

How do we prevent it?

The best way to prevent this is to get vaccinated. The vaccine protects the body to fight off the virus. According to studies, 99 out of 100 children who got vaccinated with the proper dosage will be safe from this disease. There is no cure for polio. Thus, vaccination is highly recommended.

Because of the proactive call to vaccinate children, wild poliovirus cases have dramatically decreased since 1988. With 350,000 cases then, to just 33 reported cases in 2018.

Does it still exist in other regions?

Unfortunately, there are still countries where there is still transmission of the virus. These are Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan.

What if polio has been totally eradicated?

This will always be the goal, and hopefully can be turned into reality. If polio will be eradicated, it will be a true milestone globally and it will benefit everyone, regardless of their location and status in life. It was also found out that billions of dollars can be saved if the disease will be eradicated. And lastly, the thought of not having to worry if a child will be infected is just priceless! Every child deserves to fully enjoy life, polio-free. Again, vaccination is the key.

As for India and the rest of the Southeast Asia region, wonderful news indeed.

Barbara

Barbara

Barbara is a young mother of 2 adorable kids whom she enjoyed playing with. She started living healthy when she realized that she has to keep up with her kids' energy. On her free time, she writes, sings, and tries to cook pancake for her children.

No comments so far.

Be first to leave comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *