Caused by an intestinal virus, Polio can be transferred through saliva or feces.
Currently, Polio does not exist in much of the world, only third world countries still report cases of the disease.
The majority of those who contract polio never show signs at all. A few become feverish, nauseous, and may throw up. One to two percent of those infected find their body aches for a week or so and then clears up. Less than one out of every 1,000 cases become partially paralyzed for a short time. Of those who experience the temporary paralysis, muscle pain and weakness often returns a few decades later.
After the polio vaccine became public, the number of cases fell dramatically and eventually stopped completely. The last reported case of polio happened in 1993 causing the World Health Organization to consider listing the disease as having completely been eradicated from the planet.
There were two types of polio vaccine: Oral and Inactivated. In 1997, the FDA stopped sales of the oral vaccine as it was linked to a few cases of paralytic polio. In the year 2000, many doctors felt the risks of the polio vaccine outweighed the benefits.
Many doctors do not recommend the vaccine to their patients at all, but if you will be traveling to another country, you may want to check with your doctor about receiving this vaccination.
Currently, the inactivated vaccine is given in three doses two months apart (two, four, and six months for an infant). Boosters that are given every four to six years follow this series.
Common side effects include pain and redness at the injection site. In a rare number of people, allergic reactions can occur. If you have the shot, watch for dizziness, rapid heart rate, and breathing difficulties. If you experience any of those symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.
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