Poliomyelitis

After 1988 when the World Health Assembly announced the eradication of poliomyelitis, the number of cases that appeared started to be smaller and smaller but problems still remain in areas like Africa or other parts of the developing world. The virus which causes poliomyelitis comes from which Picornavirideae family. It has three variants (I, II, III), is small (25-35 m) and contains ribonucleinic acid.

There are different variants of the virus : wild ones and vaccinable ones. The wild virus is resistant to various physical and chemical factors of environment. He survives in milk, vegetables and fruit to 3-4 months, from t ° to 37 ° C – 50-65 days at 4 ° C t ° – a few months.

The problems caused by poliomyelitis can be simple or more severe. Among the simple illnesses are found : vomiting, abnormal abdomen pains, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, headache. They last from 2 weeks up to two months. The severe illnesses include problems of the central nervous system like meningitis, polio encephalitis, paralytic poliomyelitis. In severe cases, poliomyelitis may be complicated by pneumonia, pulmonary atelectasis, myocarditis, which aggravates the patient’s condition.

Diagnosis and treatment of poliomyelitis is to be done in sections special for infectious diseases. The treatment will fight with joint contractures, will fix the ligaments or will replace them with artificial ones, if a muscle is paralyzed will have to make a transplantation. When the patient suffers from a severe case of poliomyelitis the treatment will be more complex. The aim will be to give assistance to the paralyzed leg and to exercise the muscles and to stop the deformations.

If the hip or the knee are more than 30 degrees contracted surgery will be needed . Also if the muscles are paralyzed they will need transplantation. This surgery is less common than tendon transfer because is harder to find a good muscle to transplant. Another surgery performed in case of poliomyelitis is the joint replacement surgery. Before performing any type of operation, is necessary to know the path anatomy of the situation .

If a young patients suffers from severe paralytic poliomyelitis the mortality in the long-term rises.

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