World Polio Day is annually observed on October 24. This day commemorates global efforts toward a polio-free future, as well as the selfless sacrifices of those working on the frontline of the battle to eradicate polio from every corner of the world. Polio is contagious due to the ease with which the poliovirus spreads. Although the virus is now exceedingly rare because of modern interventions, it can impair the brain regions that govern respiration, resulting in death. Polio, which has no recognized therapy, can only be avoided through vaccination.
History of World Polio Day
For thousands of years, humans have been infected with the poliovirus. An Egyptian artifact from around 1400 B.C. depicts a person with a polio-like limb deformity. For most of the 1800s, polio appeared to be a relatively uncommon disease among human populations. When other diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis were on the wane in the early 1900s, polio reached pandemic proportions in countries with relatively good living standards. Researchers believe that enhanced hygiene has resulted in an increase in polio cases.
According to a hypothesis, children were inadvertently exposed to polio in the past due to polluted water supplies. If maternal antibodies are still present in babies’ blood, their immune systems can quickly attack the poliovirus and establish long-term immunity. Increased sanitation meant that polio exposure was delayed for years, on average, until a kid had lost maternal protection and was more vulnerable to polio’s most severe form.
In 1994, the Western Hemisphere was declared polio-free thanks to extensive vaccination. Only Afghanistan and Pakistan are affected by it, with the occasional spread to other nations. Vaccination campaigns are being conducted aggressively to eliminate the last residual pockets. As a result, polio vaccines are still recommended all over the world, particularly for children under the age of five, who are the most vulnerable to the infection.
World Polio Day timeline
As a result of surveys, vaccines are being introduced in several developing countries to help control polio.
Rotary International launches a global effort to vaccinate children against polio.
This public-private partnership coordinates a strategy to stop polio on a worldwide scale.
The global eradication of this type of polio is announced in October.
World Polio Day FAQs
What are the signs and symptoms of polio?
If you or someone you love has been exposed to the virus, the first signs and symptoms you may notice are high fever, exhaustion, headache, nausea, stiff neck, paralysis, difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking, and pain in the limbs.
After getting vaccinated, is it still possible to catch polio?
Yes, you can get polio even if you are inoculated against it. Immune-compromised people can contract polio from children who have recently had a polio vaccination.
Which three polio kinds are there?
Three wild polioviruses (W.P.V.s) have been identified: type one, type two, and type three. The polio vaccine is the best way to prevent polio, as it offers protection against all three types of the virus.
How to Observe World Polio Day
Donate to the cause
One of the most important things you can do to help stop polio is to offer your time, money, or voice to spread the word. Donating in whatever form you like helps a lot.
You can help stop polio by arranging a fundraiser. It can be a walk, a run, an event, or anything else, and the cash earned will be donated to one of the numerous groups fighting to eradicate polio.
Vaccinate your children
If you have not already done so, you can vaccinate your children against polio. Because there are asymptotic poliovirus carriers who can still spread the disease, it is critical to protect everyone by vaccinating every child.
5 Interesting Facts About Polio
Children are mostly affected
Polio (poliomyelitis) primarily affects children under the age of five.
One in 200 infections results in permanent paralysis and when their respiratory muscles become immobilized, 5% to 10% of paralyzed people die.
Monitoring and immunization
To combat other infectious diseases, many countries have increased their ability to monitor and immunize their populations through a global effort.
There were around 350,000 cases of polio worldwide in 1988, however, this figure has since dropped to only 37 confirmed cases in 2016.
One is far too many
Polio can spread across the globe as long as there is a single person who is still carrying the disease.
Why World Polio Day is Important
It spreads knowledge
World Polio Day raises awareness about the disease. With knowledge comes power, and we can use it to eradicate polio by playing our part in doing so.
It helps save lives
Many advances have been made in the fight to eradicate polio. One of humanity's great victories is that we have substantially reduced the number of cases, saving so many people from paralysis.
It helps in eradicating polio
The polio vaccine's goal is to eradicate the virus. To stop the virus's spread, eradication efforts will be maintained on this holiday by establishing mass immunization campaigns and expanding disease surveillance to catch any new instances that occur.
World Polio Day dates