This Saturday, October 24, is celebrated the World Day to Combat Polio. The date was set by the United Nations (UN) in order to alert health managers and the population about the importance of maintaining control of the disease, which is serious, contagious and can cause paralysis, especially in children.
“The vaccine is the best form of polio prevention”, says the Secretary of Health of Paraná, Beto Preto. “We are in the middle of the National Vaccination Campaign against Polio. In Paraná, vaccination started a week before the national action, extending the period for offering the dose. We started the campaign on September 28 and will continue until October 30 ”, he explained.
Brazil received polio eradication certification in 1994, the last case of the disease was in 1989. Paraná has not registered cases of polio since 1,986.
“However, there is still the presence of the virus (wild poliovirus) that transmits the disease in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, so the constant surveillance of the health community”, informs the director of Health Care and Surveillance of the Secretariat of Health, Maria Goretti David Lopes. “We recently had the example of measles, which was eradicated and which again recorded cases and outbreaks”, he emphasizes.
The recommendation, explains Maria Goretti, is for parents to take their children to the nearest stations. “The vaccine is safe and available on the public network, using all preventive measures against Covid-19. In addition to the campaign period, the polio vaccine is part of the National Vaccination Calendar and is part of the routine of health posts and health units ”, he says.
According to the schedule, the polio vaccine is indicated for children aged 2 months (1st dose), 4 months (2nd dose) and 6 months (3rd dose). Booster doses are also planned at 15 months and 4 years of age.
Another important polio control measure carried out by Epidemiological Surveillance is the notification of cases of children arriving at health services with signs of paralysis.
The first signs may be fever, malaise, headache, sore throat and body, vomiting, diarrhea, stiff neck and signs of meningitis. More acute symptoms may present a sudden onset of motor deficiency, asymmetry of the limb muscles and muscle flaccidity, among others.
“It is through the investigation and timely collection of these notified cases that early detection of Poliovirus takes place, thus triggering all actions quickly and effectively for the non-reintroduction of polio”, explains the coordinator of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Secretariat, Acácia Nasr . The State of Paraná’s annual goal is to report at least 23 cases of acute flaccid paralysis in children under 15 years of age.
With information from the State News Agency