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Polio – what is it and how it effects us

September 13, 2017 by optima


Also called: poliomyelitis


Mother helping her son walk. Close-up of destroyed nerve cells in the spinal cord that cause muscle wasting and paralysis.

ABOUT Polio: It is a virus that may cause paralysis and is easily preventable by the polio vaccine.

Fast facts about Polio:

  • Preventable by vaccine
  • Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured
  • Requires a medical diagnosis
  • Lab tests or imaging always required
  • Polio is transmitted through contaminated water or food, or contact with an infected person.

Many people who are infected with the polio virus don’t become sick and have no symptoms. However, those who do become ill develop paralysis, which can sometimes be fatal 


You can have no symptoms, but people may experience:

Whole body: fatigue, feeling faint, fever, or wasting away

Muscular: muscle weakness, loss of muscle, or muscle quiver

Also, common: headache, nausea, or slow growth



Treatment varies

Treatment includes bed rest, pain relievers and portable ventilators.



  • Hygiene – Personal cleanliness that promotes health and well-being. For example, washing hands before eating.
  • Self-care –Bed rest – Reducing activity for a short period of time following injury or illness to promote healing.





Consult a doctor for medical advice if any of these symptoms occur.

Sources: Mayo Clinic and others


The Optima Psychiatric Hospital, a healing centre, situated in the Bloemfontein suburb, Hospitaalpark, accommodating 81 patients and is operated by a company consisting of nine partners, all Psychiatrists.

Contact Details

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Phone: 051 502 1800
Fax: 051 502 1810
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