Today is World Polio Day. The celebration was created in commemoration of Jonas Salk ‘s birthday by the Rotary International. Jonas Salk was the medical researcher who led the first team to develop a polio vaccine.
Poliomyelitis is an Infectious disease caused by Poliovirus. There are three individual poliovirus strains: wild poliovirus type 1,2 and 3 (WPV 1,2 and 3). All three of the strains are identical and that cause irreversible paralysis or even death.Children who are infected may spread the disease for up to six weeks because of the asymptomatic nature of the virus.
Mild Symptoms include fever and sore throat and in severe cases headaches and Neck stiffness. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life. There are two vaccines available: oral polio vaccine and inactivated polio vaccine.
World Polio Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the global efforts to eradicate polio, a highly contagious and crippling disease caused by the poliovirus.
On this day, the WHO, UNICEF and the Rotary International organize and participate in campaigns that promote awareness and also generate funds and support that will aid in sustaining and expanding the immunization programs across the glove.
This day also serves as a reminder of the importance of ongoing vaccination campaigns and research to eliminate polio worldwide.