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Old 10-27-2008, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: IPV vax question...

There was a thread not long ago about polio and a claim that there was a "polio outbreak" in the US. I posted some links there having to do with polio. The thing to keep in mind is that in something like 95% of cases polio is asymptomatic. Meaning most people who get polio don't even know they are sick. 4% have general symptoms such as fever, chills and aches. Of the remaining 1% some will have paralitic symptoms but the majority will recover fully quickly. It is an incredibly small percentage of people who contract polio who actually get permanent paralysis. The so called polio epedimic in the US was directly related to the way polio was diagnosed at the time. And the drop in cases was related to a change in diagnosis more so than a vaccine. At the time polio was diagnosed on symptoms alone. However as we know the extreme symptoms of polio are very rare and more commonly caused by diseases like Guilean Barre, Meningitis, and exposure to the pesticide DDT. With the introduction of the vaccine there was a change in diagnosis of polio. It was no longer diagnosed on symptoms but through an actual test. As a result many of the so called paralyzed polio victims of the time are more likely the victims of DDT poisoning or Guillean Barre. Because we no longer test for polio here in the US we have no way of knowing if it is really "eradicated" as it is claimed. As the vast majority of cases will pass without any illness or nothing truly diagnosable most people won't go to the dr to be tested. The truth is we just don't know.

Here is a direct quote from the CDC's pink book on Polio

Up to 95% of all polio infections are inapparent or asymptomatic. Estimates of the ratio of inapparent to paralytic illness vary from 50:1 to 1,000:1 (usually 200:1). Infected persons without symptoms shed virus in the stool and are able to transmit the virus to others. Approximately 4%8% of polio infections consist of a minor, nonspecific illness without clinical or laboratory evidence of central nervous system invasion. This clinical presentation is known as abortive poliomyelitis, and is characterized by complete recovery in less than a week. Three syndromes observed with this form of poliovirus infection are upper respiratory tract infection (sore throat and fever), gastrointestinal disturbances (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation or, rarely, diarrhea), and influenza-like illness. These syndromes are indistinguishable from other viral illnesses. Nonparalytic aseptic meningitis (symptoms of stiffness of the neck, back, and/or legs), usually following several days after a prodrome similar to that of minor illness, occurs in 1%2% of polio infections. Increased or abnormal sensations can also occur. Typically these symptoms will last from 2 to 10 days, followed by complete recovery. Fewer than 1% of all polio infections result in flaccid paralysis. Paralytic symptoms generally begin 1 to 10 days after prodromal symptoms and progress for 2 to 3 days. Generally, no further paralysis occurs after the temperature returns to normal. The prodrome may be biphasic, especially in children, with initial minor symptoms separated by a 1- to 7-day period from more major symptoms. Additional prodromal signs and symptoms can include a loss of superficial reflexes, initially increased deep tendon reflexes and severe muscle aches and spasms in the limbs or back. The illness progresses to flaccid paralysis with diminished deep tendon reflexes, reaches a plateau without change for days to weeks, and is usually asymmetrical. Strength then begins to return. Patients do not experience sensory losses or changes in cognition. Many persons with paralytic poliomyelitis recover completely and, in most, muscle function returns to some degree. Weakness or paralysis still present 12 months after onset is usually permanent.
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