Apr 23, 2016

Managing symptoms of Post Polio


The British Polio Fellowship

Staying as healthy as possible means combining self-management techniques, such as pacing, with symptom management such as healthy eating and weight control.

Conserve it and preserve it!

When you first had Polio, you may have been told “use it or lose it”, even if this meant you acted in a way that made you feel pain or very tired. We now know that it’s much easier and better for you to learn new ways of coping with PPS. This can be summed up as “conserve it and preserve it”. One way to conserve your energy is through pacing.

What is pacing?

Pacing is a method of learning to recognise your own individual and manageable baseline of activity, so you always stop what you are doing before you become exhausted. By always stopping before you are tired, you may be able to continue for longer.
Pacing means that most activities can be broken up into smaller ones with rests in between.
For example, if you swap between several different jobs or repetitive activities you will be using different muscles and resting others. If a job cannot be broken up it may need to be done a completely different way. You may need help from another person, or may realise that the job was not necessary after all.
For example, several smaller trips to a supermarket may be easier than one large shop, but if just driving to the supermarket and back is tiring, then maybe it is time to have home deliveries.
When managing PPS symptoms it is worth considering the following: pacechange or stop.

In summary

Try to live your life so you feel as fit and healthy as possible most of the time, and then see how you can fit family, work, activities and friends into it. Adapting and finding new ways to do things has always been part of living with Polio. The same goes for living with PPS.

Planning your time

Here are some questions to help you pace:
  • How much can I do in one day and what is most important?
  • What do I really enjoy doing?
  • What is not important and can be cut out?
  • Have I allowed time to rest?
  • Have I organised my home or workplace so that the things I need most often are the easiest to get?
  • Have I arranged comfortable seating for any task that can be done sitting?
The Pacing for Activity and Exercise leaflet, written with advice from the physiotherapy department of the Lane Fox Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, includes further information about pacing and how to work out a baseline of activity. Contact Support Services for a copy.
Please talk to your doctor or physiotherapist before you start an exercise programme.

Controlling weight and eating healthily

Being overweight can be a further strain on weakening muscles and will not help your energy levels and general health. Losing weight is a good idea and can help reduce PPS symptoms.
While regular exercise is a good way of controlling weight, it might not be possible for you.
Following a sensible and healthy eating plan will help to reduce weight and improve health. It is important to eat a healthy balanced diet including foods that provide slow released energy over longer periods.
For information on how to manage a healthy diet, order our Healthy Eating Booklet by contacting our Support Service Team.
You could ask your GP to refer you to a dietitian.
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Apr 18, 2016

Vaccine switched in 'milestone' towards ending polio

By Jane Dreaper
  • 17 April 2016
  •  
  • From the section Health

A child is given vaccine in an Afghanistan hospitalImage copyrightSPL
Image captionA child is given vaccine in an Afghanistan hospital

More than 150 countries have begun switching to a different polio vaccine - an important milestone towards polio eradication, health campaigners say.
The new vaccine will target the two remaining strains of the virus under a switchover 18 months in the planning.
There were just 74 cases of the paralysing disease in 2015 and there have been 10 so far this year.
All of the cases were in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Africa has been free of polio for more than a year.
Switching the vaccine from one successfully used to fight polio for more than 30 years is a huge logistical exercise. 

Thousands of monitors

Thousands of people will monitor the changeover in 155 countries during the next fortnight. 
It is taking effect mainly in developing countries, but also in richer ones such as Russia and Mexico. 
The new vaccine will still be given as drops in the mouth, so healthcare workers will not need fresh training.
It will no longer include a weakened version of type 2 polio virus, which was eradicated in 1999. 

'Rare mutations'

Dr Stephen Cochi, from the US-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said: "The current vaccine contains live weakened virus relating to three types of polio.
"But we don't need the type 2 component, as it's not in the world any longer.
"And in very rare cases it can mutate and lead to polio, through what's called circulating vaccine-derived virus. 
"So removing type 2 from the vaccine takes away that risk - and ensures we have a vaccine which will work better dose by dose." 

What is polio?

  • Polio, or poliomyelitis, mainly affects children aged under five
  • It is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours
  • Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck and pains in the limbs
  • One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilised
  • Today, only two countries - Afghanistan and Pakistan - remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988

Global stockpile

The planning involved in the switchover has included dealing with a global stockpile of 100 million doses of vaccine targeting just type 2, built up as an insurance policy in case of any outbreak.
The World Health Organization denied some media reports that "millions" of doses of the old vaccine would need to be destroyed, by incineration or other approved means.

Mike Ray
Image captionMike Ray, who contracted polio when he was six, said he was "delighted" at the latest news

Its director of polio eradication, Michel Zaffran, said: "Some will need to be destroyed - but this will be a few vials, not trucks full of vaccine. 
"This has been carefully planned because of the huge amount of resources, so countries have been using up the old vaccine, to minimise leftover quantities.
"We're closer than ever to ending polio worldwide, which is why we are able to move forward with the largest and fastest globally synchronised vaccine switchover."
Mike Ray, who contracted polio when he was six years old and has been affected for decades afterwards, told BBC Breakfast he was "absolutely delighted" at the latest news.
He said he was "exceedingly lucky" that he had never had calipers and has been able to get around using crutches and walking sticks. 
"I'm not happy it's taken this long [to get close to eradicating the disease] because it has affected so many other people but more power to their elbow. [It is] great news."

Polio progress


Map: Polio in 1988
Image captionBy 1988, polio had disappeared from the US, UK, Australia and much of Europe but remained prevalent in more than 125 countries. The same year, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to eradicate the disease completely by the year 2000.
Map: Polio in 2015
Image captionIn 2015, polio remained endemic in only two countries - Pakistan and Afghanistan. There have been only 10 cases reported so far in 2016, all of which were in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Africa has been free of polio for more than a year.




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