Just two countries remain affected by the polio epidemic, the WHO says. But even where the disease is known to have been eradicated, further suffering occurs due to something known as post-polio syndrome.
Polio and paralysis
Polio does not only affect children, even if it was first recognized as a disease primarily afflicting the young. In the 60s, the disease was widespread throughout the world, with many having contracted the virus before they'd turned five. In 1962, Germany launched the campaign "oral vaccination is sweet - polio is cruel." Since then, children have been comprehensively vaccinated in Germany.
How is polio spread?
The disease is spread through the polio virus. This usually happens through fecal-oral contact infection. The virus, excreted in the feces, travels from the hands (or in food and water) via the mouth and into the body. It then enters the gastrointestinal tract, and from there the blood vessels and eventually into nerve cells. Even the smallest drop of saliva can transmit polio - through the mouth or nose, for example. Polio is highly contagious.
Read the full article here