How is enteroviral polio treated?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Polio management is supportive in nature, as follows:

  • Abortive polio: Treatment with bed rest and minimal exertion may be done at home. Supportive treatment with analgesics and sedatives may be used.

  • Nonparalytic polio: Management is similar to that of abortive polio. Combine analgesic therapy with hot packs for pain relief.

  • Paralytic polio: In contrast to abortive and nonparalytic polio, which can be managed at home, patients with paralytic polio require hospitalization.

  • Bed rest is required during the early stages of the disease because exertion may worsen the paralysis.

  • Applying hot packs to affected muscles may alleviate pain.

  • Align the body in a neutral position to minimize deformity. Patients should start physical therapy soon after the resolution of pain. Physical therapy should include both active and passive exercises.

  • Mechanical ventilation may be required if respiratory muscles are affected.

  • Postural drainage and suction should be implemented in mild bulbar polio.

  • Patients with weakness or paralysis of the bladder may be treated with cholinergic agents, the sound of running water, or catheterization.


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