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ADVANCE Perspective: Respiratory Views

A Stark Reminder of Polio

Published April 10, 2015 9:19 AM by ADVANCE for Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine

By Ted Hill, MBE, CEO, The British Polio Fellowship

The recent news that 107 children in the U.S. have been left paralyzed from what is being described as a “Polio-like disease” is deeply concerning.

It offers a stark reminder of times gone by when the world was plunged into a Polio epidemic that killed thousands and left many more with lasting effects of the disease–effects that they may still be feeling now in the form of the late effects of Polio and Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS).
 
As CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, I will be following the situation in the U.S. closely and hope that those suffering from the mysterious outbreak receive the correct treatment, with health workers doing all they can to contain and understand this virus which affects the victim’s spinal fluid and respiratory system.

SEE ALSO Anti-Vaccine Movement in U.S.

Actual Polio has almost been eradicated, with only a handful of countries still facing the disease in an endemic state; however despite this there are 120,000 people in the U.K. still battling the debilitating symptoms of the late effects of Polio and PPS that develop years after the initial infection.

We will continue to raise awareness of this problem that affects a similar number to Parkinson’s disease, but is talked about much less and at the same time offer support and empowerment to those affected by it.
 
For more information on Polio and PPS visit www.BritishPolio.org.uk.

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