China and Polio, Fighting To Survive

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China continues its fight against polio through massive vaccination programs for the public, after 17 people were affected by the disease, causing 1 casualty, according to the World health Organization (WHO).

The government of China is now struggling to fight Polio.  This is one of the major health issues they have to face right now after affecting several individuals residing in western region of Xinjiang. Vaccination is the solution that the government is enforcing in order to limit and decrease the number of cases of the said disease. There are about 4.5 million children and young adults vaccinated with polio vaccine of 3 doses each. The massive vaccination program started for the past five weeks until now; specifically it started this early September.

According to the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It attacks your nervous system. In rare cases, polio infection can cause paralysis. Polio vaccination will protect most people for life. The United States and most other countries eradicated polio decades ago, except for rare cases.

The disease most commonly affects young children. Poliovirus spreads in human waste. People usually get it from contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, vomiting, neck stiffness, and leg and arm pain. Most infected people never have symptoms. No treatment will reverse polio paralysis. Moist heat, physical therapy and medicines might ease symptoms.

“Even if they don’t come down with any symptoms (carriers), by giving them polio vaccine we make that person less infectious,” said Oliver Rosenbauer, WHO spokesman for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Geneva.

Polio or poliomyelitis is an acute viral infection usually acquired through fecal-oral route. It mainly affects children under five years of age. Its symptoms include fever, tiredness, vomiting, neck stiffness, and leg and arm pain.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the cases of polio have decreased by over 99 per cent since 1988, which is from estimated 350,000 cases. This was trimmed down to about 1604 reported cases of polio in 2009. Collaborative efforts of the whole globe to eradicate the disease is said to be the main key for the reduction of reported cases across the global arena.

The seventeen (17) reported cases in Xinjiang China occurred mostly in Hotan. Cases reported generally appear between the months of July and September. Although, there were just 17 reported cases of Polio, this remains a great concern of the country because the reported cases were just the persons who are manifesting the disease. There could be a number of people who are infected, but are not manifesting any clinical signs and symptoms of polio.

“We are sensitizing disease surveillance in large hospitals to look for any child or adult displaying polio-like symptoms. We’ll look out for new cases, we hope there won’t be,” Rosenbaurer said in a telephone interview.

The sad thing with polio disease is that it is preventable through vaccination; however, it cannot be manage through medical treatment once symptoms occur. The only way the physicians can help is to manage the symptoms of the disease.

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Comments

  1. James Martin says:

    There is hope because we are “this close” to finally getting rid of this disease from the face of the earth. Rotarians around the world work day-in, day-out to raise funds to eradicate polio worldwide. Please support the Rotary push on World Rotary Day on Monday 24 October to spread the word and raise the awareness. Just use the hashtag #rotaryendpolio on any posts made on Facebook, Twitter etc.

  2. Tony Bacon says:

    This outbreak serves to remind everyone that polio will remain only a flight away until eradication is achieved. We can all help to raise public awareness by getting behind Rotary International and it’s partners on World Rotary Day on Monday 24th October by including the hashtag #rotaryendpolio in all of your social media posts that day.

  3. Today is World Polio Day – we are 99% of the way to the eradication of Polio. Help us make it 100%! #rotaryendpolio

  4. We are on the brink of ending polio. Help save lives by supporting Rotary and World Polio Day. #rotaryendpolio.

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