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How can polio be prevented?

Polio is a viral disease that strikes mainly young children, with more than half of reported cases being in children under three. Left untreated, the disease causes paralysis, which is usually irreversible. Some people who contract polio even die from it, mainly due to asphyxiation, a side effect of the paralysis.

As of 2002, Europe has been polio free, mainly because of the aggressive vaccination programs, but the disease is still present in countries like India, and throughout Africa.
Polio is spread through contact with faecal matter, or with people, and it takes anything between four and thirty five days to incubate. The virus multiplies in the intestines or throat, and then it enters the blood stream, where it attacks the central nervous system.

Once these nerves have been destroyed, it is impossible for victims to move their muscles, and this is the cause of the paralysis that is common with poliomyelitis survivors.

Some people are more at risk of contracting polio, including those with immune deficiencies, who have had their tonsils removed, are pregnant, have received intramuscular injections or who exercise vigorously.

Polio is not treatable, and it’s for this reason that it’s imperative that your child gets their 6 in 1 vaccinations, which include protection against the virus that causes polio.

More questions

There are very specific guidelines when it comes to safely administering over the counter medications to babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
A cold bath can actually do more harm than good to a feverish child.
Many children have a mild reaction to the MMR vaccine – it’s not usually full-blown measles though, and it’s usually not serious. There are a few things to watch out for though...
Injections are necessary - the thing is to just have them and then get on with it. If needs be, have your child’s favourite toy or something else that will distract him while he has his shot.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses, such as the common cold, and by over using antibiotics, particularly when they aren’t necessary, you are weakening your child's future defences! 
In general, chewable medicines are only designed for children two years and older, who are adept at eating solid foods.
Giving any child aspirin could contribute to them getting a serious illness known as Reye’s Syndrome.
As a parent you should understand the risks associated with various different types of medication
Both ibuprofen and paracetamol are effective pain and fever treatment options for babies and children.
Choosing between a vaporiser and a humidifier is a personal choice but both help to make children feel better



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