World Polio Day, which is observed on October 24th, highlights efforts being made worldwide to eradicate polio. The dedication of individuals who labor persistently to eradicate polio is also recognized on this day. The polio virus is a deadly disease known as poliomyelitis. More people are familiar with the condition of polio. Polio symptoms include those of influenza and include:
- Headache and Fever
- Rigidity in the neck or back
- Rigidity in the legs or arms
- Muscle tremor
Contrary to popular opinion, paralysis is not invariably a side effect of polio. Some poliovirus victims show no signs of illness. The infection, however, can harm nerves in severe situations. Damage to the nerve can cause paralysis or even death.
In the early 20th century, polio struck the United States. The virus attacked suddenly every summer. Nobody was aware of the poliovirus’s origins or method of transmission. Parents in this country have been concerned that their children may contract the virus for four decades. There were over 58,000 polio cases in 1952. Over 3,000 of these cases had fatal outcomes. More than 15,000 paralysis cases were brought on by the virus per year. Thankfully, a polio vaccine was developed, which put an end to the virus’s spread.
World Polio Day Overview
Polio is now all but extinct in the United States. However, other nations continue to be infected by this dangerous illness. Particularly in two nations, polio is still an endemic problem. Among them are Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, there is still optimism that the world will one day be free of polio.
Every year on October 24, people mark World Polio Day. This day honors collective efforts to eradicate polio globally as well as the selfless sacrifices made by individuals fighting on the front lines of the campaign to do so. The ease with which the poliovirus spreads makes polio infectious. The virus can damage the brain regions that control respiration, which can cause death, despite the fact that it is now extremely rare because of contemporary therapies. Polio can only be prevented through vaccination because there is no proven treatment for it.
STEPS TO TAKE TO OBSERVE #WorldPolioDay
On this day, a number of events are held by Rotary International and other health organizations. These activities include polio walks, informative workshops, and polio documentary screenings. Additionally, to generate money for polio research, communities and groups hold concerts and other activities.
History of World Polio Day
The World Health Assembly passed a resolution in 1988 calling for the abolition of polio worldwide. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was started as a result of this resolution. The program was led by the CDC, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Rotary International joined the project as an additional organization. World Polio Day was started by Rotary International later on. The initial occasion took place in the early 2000s. They decided to honor Jonas Salk’s birthdate on October 24. He oversaw the first group that created a polio vaccine and started testing it in 1953.
Humans have been poliovirus-infected for countless years. An Egyptian artifact from circa 1400 BC shows a person with a limb malformation resembling polio. Polio looked to be a reasonably infrequent disease among human populations for most of the 1800s. In the early 1900s, when other illnesses like diphtheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis were starting to decline, polio spread to nations with comparatively high levels of life. Improved cleanliness, according to researchers, is to blame for the rise in polio infections.
A theory holds that contaminated water sources in the past exposed kids unintentionally to polio. Babies’ immune systems can promptly battle the poliovirus and develop long-lasting protection if maternal antibodies are still present in their blood. Because of improved sanitation, polio contact was typically postponed for years, until a child had lost maternal protection and was more susceptible to the most severe form of the disease.
Due to widespread immunization, the Western Hemisphere was proclaimed polio-free in 1994. It primarily affects Afghanistan and Pakistan, with sporadic outbreaks in other countries. To eradicate the final pockets, vigorous vaccination campaigns are being carried out. As a result, polio vaccinations are still advised globally, especially for young children under the age of five who are most at risk for contracting the disease.