World Polio Day is celebrated on October 23 around the world. Its purpose is to raise awareness of one of the most serious viral diseases and to recognize those at the forefront of the fight against it. Polio, a contagious virus, can attack areas of the brain that control breathing. In some cases, it can be fatal.
Currently, polio is not as common due to modern interventions; however, it can still strike in rare cases. There is no cure, the most effective remedy being vaccination. The disease can develop at any age, but it is most prevalent in children up to the age of five. Until 1950, when a vaccine was developed by American virologists, the disease posed a high danger, reducing the incidence by up to 99%.
It is believed that children became infected due to contaminated water supplies. If the child had antibodies in their blood, they could successfully fight the virus. Sanitation is now at a high level and in 1994, the Western Hemisphere was declared polio-free as a result of mass vaccination. Currently, the virus is mostly found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, rarely venturing beyond their borders. Vaccination is important even if you live in a country with a lower risk of infection.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of America, had polio and lost the ability to move freely.
- The virus can survive up to six months in faeces and up to three months in water.
- A person can be contagious for up to six months after the incubation period.
- The paralytic form of polio occurs in only 1% of cases.
- The virus will remain a global threat as long as there is at least one person who is infectious.
How to take part
Vaccinate your children; their timely protection is extremely important! Make a donation in any form: money, time, or volunteer help. Spread the knowledge by talking to people and visiting organizations. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against polio.
When is World Polio Day celebrated in 2023?
World Polio Day is observed on October 24 each year.