List Of Poliomyelitis Survivors
This is a list of notable people who have survived the infectious disease poliomyelitis. Poliomyelitis (often simply called polio) is an acute viral infection that involves the gastrointestinal tract and occasionally the central nervous system. Poliovirus is acquired by faecal-oral or oral transmission. Prior to the introduction of a vaccine in 1955, infection was common, with epidemics during the summer and autumn of temperate countries. An eradication programme has reduced the number of reported polio cases worldwide by more than 99% since the mid-1980s. Most infections are asymptomatic; a small number cause a minor illness that is indistinguishable from many other viral illnesses; less than 1% result in acute flaccid paralysis. The extent of paralysis varies from part of a limb to quadriplegia and respiratory failure. The latter was often treated with an iron lung until, it was hoped, the patient recovered. Around 30–40 years after contracting paralytic poliomyelitis, about 25–40% of cases lead to post-polio syndrome. Symptoms include muscle pain, further weakening of muscles and paralysis.
Surviving paralytic polio can be a life-changing experience. Individuals may be permanently physically disabled to varying degrees. Others remember the fear and isolation. Some continue to campaign for polio eradication or disability rights.
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