Friday, March 29, 2013

Poliosophobia: The Fear of Poliomyelitis

Poliosophobia is the abnormal and persistent fear of Poliomyelitis or Polio. Poliomyelitis (Polio) is an infectious disease that is crippling and potentially fatal. It’s caused by a virus that spreads from person to person and invades the brain and spinal cord. It usually causes paralysis.

Polio affected 35,000 people a year in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but because of effective vaccinations there were only 650 reported cases in 2011. As of 2012 Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan are the only countries that are still polio-endemic.

Polio mainly affects children under 5 years old. The symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. 1 in 200 cases result in irreversible paralysis. There is still no cure for Polio, but there are safe and effective vaccines.

A phobia is a strong, persistent fear of situations, objects, activities or persons. The main symptom is an excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. Other phobia symptoms include shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and an overall feeling of dread. Phobias are the most common form of anxiety disorders.

Do you suffer from Poliosophobia? Please share your story. How was it triggered and how does it affect your life?


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