RUNNING HEAD: THE ERADICTION OF POLIO THROUGH HEALTH PROMOTION & DISEASE PREVENTION
THE ERADICTION OF POLIO THROUGH HEALTH PROMOTION & DISEASE PREVENTION
The Eradication of Polio Through Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
Grand Canyon University
Approximately 3 million people worldwide die of vaccine preventable illnesses every year. Immunizations are one of the most important health interventions of the 20th century that assist in wiping out deadly diseases by administering a tiny portion of the dead or damaged cells of the virus into the body (Macintosh, Eden, Luthy & Schouten, 2017). Poliomyelitis is a preventable communicable infectious disease that can cause permanent disability in children. The deadly disease was the leading cause of paralytic disability in children before vaccinations became available, with an average of 1 in 200 susceptible individuals developing paralytic poliomyelitis (World Health Organization, 2018). With a virus like this one, the presence of vaccinations is crucial; however, there are certain obstacles to face, such as healthcare access, cost, and perceptions of safety and trust in healthcare. Organizations like The World Health Organization (WHO), along with healthcare professionals like nurses, focus on facing these obstacles in healthcare to increase immunization rates, especially in underdeveloped nations. The eradication of poliovirus is detrimental to the health of communities and increasing awareness of the importance of vaccinations to the public is a great way to start.
The causative agent of poliomyelitis is poliovirus. Poliovirus is made up of three types of serotypes: 1,2, and 3; with 1 as the most frequently occurring type. Humans are the only known reservoir of poliovirus with its typical host being infants under the age of three. The disease is transmitted and spread through droplets of human oral mucosa and, more commonly, through fecal to oral contamination. Poliovirus transmission begins at the mouth, then multiples in the throat and gastrointestinal tract, and moves to the bloodstream where it is carried to the central nervous system and destroys motor neuron cells (National Museum of American History, 2005). The incubation period of poliovirus is 7 to 10 days before and after the onset of symptoms, but poliovirus can live in stool for 3 to 6 weeks. Therefore, the virus has been difficult to control with many of its victims unaware they are infected for some time. For this reason, the poliovirus is very contagious with transmission rates among a susceptible household contact a child nearly 100%, and greater than 90% susceptible hosts contact adults (Nathanson & Kew, 2011).
The polio virus often presents asymptomatic, but about 1 in 4 people will have flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea, and headaches (Center for Disease Control, 2017). Most of these symptoms last from 2 to 5 days and then resolve on their own (World Health Organization, 2018). Rarely, poliovi...