Early Symptoms of Polio and Its Vaccines

22 November 2022 21:29 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaIndonesia's Health Ministry detected a case of type 2 polio in Pidie, Aceh, which placed the country to rank 16th with cases of the life-threatening disease. The government thus immediately declared an extraordinary occurrence (KLB) of polio.

Poliovirus can attack all ages but more often children under 5 years or toddlers. The disease causes paralysis as it infects a person’s spinal cord.

Early Symptoms of Poliovirus Infection

Quoted from the Health Ministry's Emerging Infection page, the incubation period of the virus lasts 3-6 days. Around 7-21 days after exposure, paralysis may occur. About 90 percent of the infected people present no symptoms or develop very mild symptoms and that is generally unrecognized. 

In other conditions, initial symptoms include fever, tiredness, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the legs.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a smaller proportion of infected people will develop other, more serious symptoms that affect the brain and spinal cord, such as:

- Meningitis which occurs in about 1–5 out of 100 infected people depending on the virus type. 

- Paralysis or weakness in the arms, legs, or both occurs in about 1 out of 200 infected people to 1 in 2,000 infected people depending on the virus type.

The CDC mentions that polio virus transmission can be prevented by vaccination and practicing good hand hygiene and washing hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill poliovirus. 

The Health Ministry also notes that droplet transmissions can be prevented by wearing masks for those who are sick and healthy. It is also important to prevent environmental pollution and control infection.

Polio Vaccines

There are 4 types of vaccine that can prevent polio, namely Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), Monovalent Oral Polio Vaccines (mOPV1 and mOPV3), Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV), and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV).

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