Poliomyelitis

 
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Medical Sciences Department, Pediatric Oncall, Mumbai, India

Address for Correspondence: Dr Ira Shah, 1, B Saguna, 271, B St Francis Road, Vile Parle {W}, Mumbai 400056. India.


Clinical Problem :
A one and half year old unimmunized boy developed sudden onset lower limb weakness 2 months ago. On examination, he had hypotonia, weakness more in extensors of the calves, bilateral foot drop and absent reflexes. Other systems were normal. Stool grew polio virus on culture.


Should this child be given vaccination for polio vaccine_?

Discussion :
This child has acute flaccid paralysis due to polio. There are 3 types of polio viruses. Since this child is unimmunized, he is susceptible to all 3 types of polio viruses. Since, he has a polio infection at the moment` he is going to develop natural immunity against one virus type. However, he is still susceptible to other 2 types of polio virus. Thus, the child should be given polio vaccine to develop immunity against the other 2 types of polio viruses. He should receive polio vaccine after 4 weeks of resolution of the acute illness.

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