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Polio was at one time, one of the most feared diseases amongst children in the 1950s because it caused paralysis and death. During the 1950s, the extensive outbreak occurred, causing thousands of children to die. In the 19th century, it was sporadic. Then it became worse in the 20th century, reaching epidemic proportions. However, a vaccination created by Jonas Salk became widely available in the 1955. Since then, many countries around globe made it a compulsory vaccination over time, and the occurrence of poliomyelitis went down. Polio is caused by the polio virus, and is spread through contaminated water or food or though close contact. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of time. It can strike at any age, but children below three are the first to be affected. As the virus enters the body through oral passages, the initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. From your blood, it enters, largely your motor neurons in your spinal cord. Our motor neurons are the one responsible for transmitting the brain messages for movement in your limbs. Bear in mind that with your motor neurons destroyed, the ability for the nerve impulses to reach is not possible. This is what we called flaccid paralysis. After a few weeks of polio paralysis, you would notice your muscles decreasing in size (atrophy). However, polio paralysis victims may recover completely, partially but there are some never recover at all. Post-polio syndrome typically develops 30 to 40 years after the initial polio infection. If you notice that you are having muscle, joint weakness and pain that progresses gradually, tiredness and profound fatigue, breathing or swallowing problems, inability to tolerate cold temperature or you notice your muscles starting to minimize, these may be the sign that you are suffering from postpolio syndrome. There is no cure for polio as this illness is classified as virus infection. However, if you suffer muscle atrophy or paralysis, it is advisable to visit physiotherapy and rehabilitation therapy.

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The Deadly Polio