Poliomyelitis is a viral disease with one of the polio virus types invading the gastro-intestinal tract and affects the nervous tissue which can lead to paralysis.
Headache, gastrointestinal disturbance, malaise and stiffness of the neck and back, with or without paralysis, may occur.
Through contact with the faeces or pharyngeal secretions of an infected person. Polio virus replicates for longer periods and it can be excreted for three to six weeks in faeces and two weeks in saliva (PHE Green Book Gelfand et al., 1957).
The ratio is 1000:1 in children and 75:1 in adults. Endemic in small number of developing countries but following a resurgence of polio in Nigeria, poliomyelitis was reported during 2005 and 2006 from several countries that have previously been polio-free.
Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) with live attenuated strains of poliomyelitis virus is no longer available for routine use and will only be available for outbreak control.
The polio vaccine is now only given as part of combined vaccine. Td/IPV vaccine should be used where protection is required against tetanus, diphtheria or polio in order to provide comprehensive, long-term protection against all three diseases. They are inactivated, do not contain live organisms and cannot cause the diseases against which they protect.