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12th Feb 2018

New polio issues arising in Ireland over thirty years after last recorded cases

Europe was declared polio-free in 2002.
US child dies after only being partially vaccinated against flu

Up to three new patients are showing symptoms of post-polio syndrome at a clinic at Beaumont Hospital each month.

These come over thirty years after the last reported cases of polio in Ireland. There have been no new cases natively due to widespread vaccinations.

Europe was declared polio-free in 2002.

Post-polio syndrome affects survivors of the childhood disease years after the initial virus attacks.

Both muscles that were weakened by the virus and those that weren’t can be affected by post-polio syndrome.

Symptoms of the condition include fatigue, joint pain and muscle pain and weakness and can in some cases lead to muscle wasting and breathing issues such as aspiration pneumonia.

New polio issues arising in Ireland over thirty years after last recorded cases

It can mean that survivors who beat the virus and went on to lead full and healthy lives are debilitated years after the illness.

As many as three new patients a month at a clinic in Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital are shown to have symptoms of post-polio syndrome in Ireland, according to the Irish Times.

The majority of those affected by the condition have come to Ireland from other countries, according to Prof Orla Hardiman, consultant neurologist at the hospital’s post-polio clinic.

“The polio epidemic finished in the 1950s, and there were a few people in the 1960s who had polio,” she told the paper.

“But we’re seeing a new wave of people now, a lot of Nigerians, Indians, people from Asia who would have had polio in childhood, are here now and they need some support.”