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POLIOMYELITIS

There are 3 antigenic types: 1,2,3.

Epidemiology
Occurs only in humans.
Poliovirus can survive in water for up to 3 month.
The WHO committed itself to a global eradication
of polio worldwide by the year 2005.
That has not been achieved but huge progress has
been made. The Americas have been polio-free
since 1991.
Russia have been polio-free since 2001. Some
parts of Asia and Africa where there are wars or
ongoing civil conflict have polio remains endemic.

Transmission
By the faecal-oral route
Transmission by food or water contamination is
rare.
Infectivity may be prolonged for several weeks or
longer.
Diagnosis

Poliovirus can be recovered from the faeces,


throat, rarely, cerebrospinal fluid by isolation in
tissue culture.
Two specimens of faeces, separated by 7 days,
should be obtained from all patients with acute
flaccid paralytic disease for isolation of the virus.
Culture from two specimens collected within the
first 15 days of illness is the diagnostic test of
choice.

Serological testing of acute and convalescent sera


can be performed in patients suspected of having
paralytic poliomyelitis. However, interpretation of
serological tests can be difficult.

Differential diagnoses include the other causes of


aseptic meningitis and acute flaccid paralytic
disease: Guillain-Barre syndrome, acute polyneuritis
and other.