Polio can be spread through contact with contaminated faeces (for example, by changing an infected baby’s diapers) or through airborne droplets, in food, or in water.
The virus enters the body by nose or mouth, and then travels to the intestines where it incubates.
Some victims develop neurological complications, including stiffness of the neck and back, weak muscles, pain in the joints, and paralysis of one or more limbs or respiratory muscles.
In severe cases it may be fatal, due to respiratory paralysis.
Bulbar polio leads to weakness of muscles innervated by cranial nerves.
Bulbospinal polio is a combination of bulbar and spinal paralysis .
Poliomyelitis was first recognized as a distinct condition by Jakob Heine in 1840.
Its causative agent, poliovirus, was identified in 1908 by Karl Landsteiner.
Rehabilitation in patients with postpolio syndrome should take a multi professional and multidisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on physiotherapy, including enhanced or individually modified physical activity, and muscle training.
Patients with postpolio syndrome should be advised to avoid both inactivity and over use of weak muscles.