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Poliomyelitis

Pathology

  • Caused by a viral infection of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord and brainstem
  • Has become rare in countries where vaccination is performed but the victims of previous outbreaks are still around and causing problems.
  • Virus is transmitted by faeco-oral transmission and usually is only minor causing no more than a mild flu like illness.
  • The major illness however, includes all forms of central nervous system (CNS) disease caused by poliovirus, including aseptic meningitis or nonparalytic polio, polioencephalitis, bulbar polio, and paralytic poliomyelitis, alone or in combination
  • This major illness is the form that attacks the anterior horn cells causing a variable degree of paralysis. Some of this paralysis is due to oedema and will resolve but any persisting beyond 6 months is likely to be permanent.

Clinical findings: 

Passes through several phases with the patient remaining infective for 4weeks



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