World Polio Day – 24th October

World Polio Day – 24th October

World Polio Day is observed on 24th October every year all over the world. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. This day is celebrated to pay tribute to him. The Government of India started the Polio Eradication Campaign in the year 1995. On 27 March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared India polio-free.

The theme of World Polio Day 2021: “One Day. One Focus: Ending Polio – delivering on our promise of a polio-free world!”

The objective of World Polio Day

The main purpose of celebrating this day is to spread awareness among people about the disease like polio. Polio is an infectious disease that affects the entire body. Most of the victims of this disease are children under five. Polio is also called ‘poliomyelitis’ or ‘infantile paralysis‘. It is a disease that has badly affected many nations. Although polio has been completely eradicated from most countries of the world, the disease has not been eradicated from many countries of the world. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.

This day is celebrated to raise awareness for polio vaccination and the eradication of polio. The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, a small town village in Scotland, will be celebrating in the town hall with a purple color. In a way, the color supports the vaccination campaign because those who are vaccinated have to dip their little finger in purple. Polio drives in India are organized by hospitals, schools, and allied organizations. Communities will be informed about the simple method of vaccination and how it protects them from lifelong disability.

What is polio?

Following are the main facts about polio:

  • Polio is a viral infectious disease that is contagious in its nature and in very severe cases causes difficulty breathing and irreversible paralysis.

  • The disease is caused by wild poliovirus.

  • This virus spreads from person to person mainly through feces or at very low levels through common means (such as contaminated food and water) and thrives in the intestine.

  • This disease mainly affects all children below the age of 5 years.

  • If a child is also infected with polio, then all children in the country are at risk of suffering from polio.

  • Polio can only be prevented, as there is no treatment available for polio.

  • With the prescribed dose of the polio vaccine, the child can be protected from polio for life.

  • Polio protects two types of vaccination. The first is an oral vaccine, given orally, as a medicine, and the second is inactivated poliovirus vaccine, which is applied to the arm or leg depending on the age of the patient.

The invention of the vaccine

Every year ‘October 24’ is celebrated as ‘World Polio Day‘, as Jonas Salk was born this month. Jonas Salk was the head of the team that invented the first polio vaccine in 1955. Few drops of anti-polio medicine are given to children. In many countries, this vaccine has proved to be very important to get rid of polio.

Symptoms of polio

The status of the patient in polio disease depends on the intensity of the virus. In most cases, the symptoms of polio are like ‘flu’, but some of its common symptoms are as follows-

  • Stomach ache.
  • Vomiting.
  • Throat pain.
  • Severe headache.
  • High fever.
  • Having difficulty swallowing food.
  • In complicated conditions, the muscles of the heart swell.
  • Pain or cramps in arms or legs.
  • Neck and back cramps.

Polio prevention

There is no treatment available for polio. The disease can only be prevented through vaccination. Polio vaccination can be given multiple times according to the prescribed schedule. It protects the child throughout his life. There are two types of vaccines that protect against polio – the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) and the live-attenuated vaccine oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). The oral vaccine is given orally and the inactivated poliovirus vaccine is applied in the hands or feet depending on the age of the patient.

Suggested Read: Important Days In October

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.