Polio is a disease that is considered very contagious and commonly affects children. Polio or poliomyelitis can be caused by the poliovirus. It causes permanent or temporary paralysis which can be sometimes life-threatening.
Though polio is no longer a global problem, it still affects children and adults in some countries. There is no cure for polio that is why it is important that you and your family is fully vaccinated.
More than half of people infected with the poliovirus won’t show any symptoms. Their immune system is able to fight off the infection without them knowing they were infected. However, people affected with polio may experience flu-like symptoms 3 to 21 days after they are infected. Symptoms are:
- A high fever or above
- Sore throat
- Aching or sore muscles
- Feeling sick
The above symptoms will usually be gone after a week. In some cases, the polio virus can attack the nerves in the spine and in the brain causing paralysis in the legs that can develop over hours or days. Sometimes the paralysis is not permanent. The feelings and movements of the affected limbs will slowly return over a few weeks or months. But there are cases that even though the paralysis is not permanent some cases will live persistent problems and if the breathing muscles were initially affected it can be life-threatening.
Though polio passes quickly it will not lead to any complications, it can live persistent and long-termed difficulties. Some individuals who were affected will, to some degree experience permanent paralysis that may require lifelong treatment and support. These problems include:
- Muscles weakness and muscle atrophy
- Contractures or rigid joints
- Deformities on the affected the limbs
Some people infected with polio may not have any paralysis but can sometimes develop symptoms again that may be worse compared to their initial exposure. It is called post-polio syndrome.
The polio virus causes poliomyelitis. You can get polio virus from an infected person via droplets in the air when that infected person sneezes or when there is coughing. Contaminated water or food can also be a source of virus transmission.
The risk of getting infected by polio virus is doubled when you are or your family has not been vaccinated or if you travel to areas that just had a polio outbreak.
If you think you are suffering from Polio you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Polio as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).