Poliomyelitis is an acute virus disease caused by the poliovirus, characterized by fever, motor paralysis, and atrophy of skeletal muscles. This often results in permanent disability and deformity, and inflammation of nerve cells in the ventral horns of the spinal cords. This disease is also known as infantile paralysis and polio. Polio is transmitted by direct person to person contact, contact with an infected mucus or phlegm, and contact with infected feces. The virus enters through the mouth and nose and multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract. It is then absorbed and spread through the blood and lymph system. From the time one is infected to the time symptoms appear is anywhere from 5-35 days with the average being just 7-14 days. During the time of the Polio epidemic -1840-1950’s- hand hygiene was very crucial. That was a time when hand hygiene and even facial mask were not such a priority as it is today. The first known case in the US was in 1894 in Vermont. Outbreaks usually occurred in July, August, and September. 1916 New York City experienced its first large epidemic of polio with over 9,000 cases and 2,343 deaths. The nationwide toll for that year was 27,000 and 6,000. Epidemics worsened later on: in 1952-the worse ever- a record of 57,628 cases of polio were reported in the US alone. There are three basic patterns of polio infections: subclinical infection, nonparalytic, and paralytic. About 95% of the infections were subclinical infections, which may not have symptoms or last 72 hours or less. Some of the symptoms are: general uneasiness, head ache, red throat, slight fever, and vomiting. Clinical poliomyelitis affects the CNS. The symptoms for Nonparalytic Infection is: back pain, neck pain or stiffness, vomiting, leg pain/calf muscles, skin rash with pain, pain in the front of the neck, excessive fatigue, irritability, muscle tenderness/ spasm any part of the body. These symptoms usually last...
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