Polio – Ukraine

October 29, 2021- A case of poliomyelitis was suspected in an individual in Transcarpathia, Ukraine. The individual is a 12-year-old female who did not receive the polio vaccine. She was hospitalized and suffered from leg paralysis.

The child was admitted to a medical facility after experiencing symptoms of intestinal discomfort, weakness, and acute flabby paralysis. Further information on the research location (investigation) and family risk could not be released in this source, according to officials. Poliomyelitis is a virus that affects the central nervous system in an individual. The virus can be transmitted from person to person through infected saliva or fecal matter, contact with contaminated food or water, or contaminated hands. Vaccination is the most effective preventative measure against this infectious disease. As in this case, untreated poliomyelitis results in progressing temporary or permanent paralysis.

The poliomyelitis case in Transcarpathia was discovered after an epidemiological investigation in another region (Rivne, Ukraine). The children who were diagnosed with poliomyelitis in Rivne were originally from Transcarpathia. Current research efforts are being carried out for this particular case.

Photo: Polio virus, colorized.

Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease caused by a virus. In about 0.5 percent of cases, it moves from the gut to affect the central nervous system and there is muscle weakness. Many people fully recover. However, years after recovery, post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to that which the person had during the initial infection.

The disease is preventable with the polio vaccine; however, multiple doses are required for it to be effective.

Poliomyelitis has existed for thousands of years, with depictions of the disease in ancient art. The disease was first recognized as a distinct condition by the English physician Michael Underwood in 1789 and the virus that causes it was first identified in 1909 by the Austrian immunologist Karl Landsteiner. The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s.

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