World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago on 24th October to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
Use of this inactivated World Polio Day & poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. Since then,
The effects of polio have been known since prehistory; Egyptian paintings and carvings depict otherwise healthy people with withered limbs, and children walking with canes at a young age. The first clinical description was provided by the English physician Michael Underwood in 1789, where he refers to polio as “a debility of the lower extremities”. The work of physicians Jakob Heine in 1840 and Karl Oskar Medin in 1890 led to it being known as Heine–Medin disease. The disease was later called infantile paralysis, based on its propensity to affect children.
Before the 20th century, polio infections were rarely seen in infants before six months of age, most cases occurring in children six months to four years of age. Poorer sanitation of the time resulted in a constant exposure to the virus, which enhanced a natural immunity within the population. In developed countries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, improvements were made in community sanitation, including better sewage disposal and clean water supplies. These changes drastically increased the proportion of children and adults at risk of paralytic polio infection, by reducing childhood exposure and immunity to the disease.
Small localized paralytic polio epidemics began to appear in Europe and the United States around 1900. Outbreaks reached pandemic proportions in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand during the first half of the 20th century. By 1950, the peak age incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis in the United States had shifted from infants to children aged five to nine years, when the risk of paralysis is greater; about one-third of the cases were reported in persons over 15 years of age. Accordingly, the rate of paralysis and death due to polio infection also increased during this time. In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic became the worst outbreak in the nation’s history. Of the nearly 58,000 cases reported that year, 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis. Intensive care medicine has its origin in the fight against polio. Most hospitals in the 1950s had limited access to iron lungs for patients unable to breathe without mechanical assistance. Respiratory centers designed to assist the most severe polio patients, first established in 1952 at the Blegdam Hospital of Copenhagen by Danish anesthesiologist Bjørn Ibsen, were the precursors of modern intensive care units (ICU). (A year later, Ibsen would establish the world’s first dedicated ICU.)
However, in 2012, transmission of indigenous wild poliovirus continued in three countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In April 2012, the World Health Assembly declared the completion of polio eradication a programmatic emergency for global public health.
This news was shared to Prittle Prattle News via press release
By PR Newswire
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