Polio or Poliomyelitis as it is also known is a very contagious viral infection. Polio is spread through person-to-person contact and contact with the saliva or stool (poo) of an infected person. Whilst Polio has been eliminated in most parts of the world and Australia was officially declared as Polio-free in the year 2000, there are still some cases in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
What are the common symptoms of Polio?
Polio infection is often asymptomatic, but some patients will experience symptoms such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sore throat
- Weak or tender muscles.
In the most severe cases, Polio results in irreversible paralysis and even death.
How is Polio diagnosed and treated?
If you have symptoms of Polio and have travelled overseas to a country where it is possible Polio may still be present, your doctor will take a sample from your throat or stool (poo) to confirm a diagnosis.
Treatment for Polio is symptomatic and that which aims to prevent complications. This may involve medicines for pain relief or to help with muscle spasms, hospitalisation if breathing is difficult, and physiotherapy for recovery from any paralysis symptoms.
How can I protect myself from Polio?
The best and most effective way to protect yourself from Polio is immunisation. If you have not received a vaccination against Polio as a child, you seek vaccination. For adults who travel to countries where Polio still exists, it is recommended to have a booster dose every 10 years for continued protection.
Who can get vaccinated at National Pharmacies?
Properly trained Pharmacist immunisers can vaccinate patients to protect them against Polio.
In South Australia – people over the age of 10 years
In New South Wales – people over the age of 5 years.
Polio Vaccination Pricing: Members from $66.75 per dose, Retail Price from $77.50 per dose.