World Polio Day History, Celebration, Types, Symptoms, Quotes
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World Polio Day: History, Celebration, Types, Symptoms, Quotes

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has always strived to eradicate polio and has been approaching this goal every year.  With the steps taken by WHO to make people aware, every person can help in eradicating polio.  To raise awareness about polio, every year on 24 October, World Polio Day is celebrated all over the world.  Polio was once known as an extremely common infectious disease that disrupted the lives of millions of children around the world. 

History of World Polio Day

Rotary International started celebrating World Polio Day.  When Rotary International established World Polio Day on the birthday of Jonas Salk, a member of the team that discovered the first polio vaccine.  Jonas Salk was born in the month of October.  For this, World Polio Day is celebrated in the month of October.  The first polio vaccine was discovered in 1955. 

Why is World Polio Day celebrated on 24 October?

World Polio Day is celebrated every year on 24 October to commemorate the birthday of Jonas Salk, who was an American virologist.  Who helped create the world’s first safe and effective polio vaccine.  On April 12, 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk had declared the anti-polio drug safe and presented it to the world.  At one time this disease remained a big challenge for the whole world and Dr. Salk had given the human race a weapon to fight this deadly disease by inventing its prevention medicine.  

But in 1988 the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established.  The initiative was taken by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International and others who were globally determined to eradicate polio.

Theme for World Polio Day 2021

This Year’s Theme is “Delivering on a Promise” which signifies the declaration adopted in 1988 at the 41st health assembly to eradicate polio.

What is polio?

What is polio

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling, fatal disease.  This disease is caused by the polio virus.  This virus, spread from person to person, can attack the brain and spinal cord of an infected person, causing paralysis.  In the case of paralysis, the body cannot be moved and the person may be hand, leg or any other limb disabled. 

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With the efforts of the World Health Organization and the persistence of the governments of various countries, the vaccination campaign saved the world from polio.  India has been polio free for the last 7-8 years.  However, there are some cases of disability in some parts of the world. 

Two types of polio vaccine invented

Two types of polio vaccine were invented to combat polio worldwide.  The first vaccine developed by Jonas Salk, which was first tested in 1952 and certified on 12 April 1955, was presented for use worldwide.  It was a dose of inactivated or dead poliovirus.  At the same time, an oral vaccine was also developed by Albert Sabin using attenuated polio virus, which began testing in the year 1957 and was licensed in 1962.  The world remembers Dr. Salk’s contribution to the development of the first vaccine. 

What are the symptoms of polio?

According to experts at the Cleveland Clinic, about 72 percent of people infected with polio do not show any symptoms.  While the remaining 25 per cent people may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, nausea, headache, fatigue and body aches.  Apart from this, the following symptoms of polio can be seen in some patients. 

  • Paresthesia: Stinging of needles in hands and feet 
  • Meningitis: Infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord 
  • Paralysis: a condition of inability to move the arms and legs 

What makes polio a victim? 

Polio virus can make a person its victim at any age.  However, children up to 5 years of age are most at risk.  WHO has declared America, Europe, Western Pacific Asia and South East Asia free of polio.  At the same time, the outbreak of this disease is still going on in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. 

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How is polio diagnosed?

How is polio diagnosed

Since most of the symptoms of polio are similar to those of other viral infections, doctors may recommend some tests to diagnose polio.  If polio infection is suspected, the doctor can send a sample of the patient’s stool and throat saliva for testing.  If the patient has a very severe infection, the cerebrospinal fluid may be sent for testing.  The status of the infection is known on the basis of the test report. 

World Polio Day Quotes

  • “Do Boond Zindagi ki”
  • “Spare the children, give the vaccine”
  • “Prevent Birth Defect.”
  • “Stop Polio, Vaccinate.”
  • “Get A Drop, Stop The Strop.”

Can polio be treated? 

There is no cure for polio.  Polio vaccine is given to children to prevent polio infection.  Polio drops are available, which camps are organized from time to time to feed each child.  If a person is infected with polio, then the same measures are used for treatment as for other viral infections.  

World Polio Day 2020 Global Update | Credit: Rotary

Painkillers are given to reduce fever and body aches in the patient.  Apart from this, maximum intake of fluids and rest is advised.  Physical therapy is given to improve muscle mobility in people who are at risk of disability and paralysis.  Some people may also have difficulty breathing in severe conditions, in which case they need to be kept on a ventilator.


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Samachar Khabar
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