Author(s): Wyatt HV, Mahadevan S, Srinivasan S
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Abstract The effect of prior injections on the pattern and severity of paralytic poliomyelitis has been examined by a retrospective analysis of case notes from an outpatient pediatric clinic in South India. Of 262 children with acute polio, 176 had received unnecessary injections < 48 h before paralysis and 12 had received diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus or provocative injections. Two children injected in the right arm had paralysis in that limb only. Children with no injections (controls) had an equal chance of paralysis (0.73) in each left and right leg. Children with injections in the right or left gluteus or in both had a 19\% greater chance of paralysis in the injected leg(s), whereas uninjected legs had a 31\% lower chance of paralysis. Injected leg muscles were weaker than those of control children. Legs of control children were stronger than those with one leg injected and much stronger than those with both injected. More than 96\% of the children had at least one leg paralysed. Age and vaccine status did not affect the results of injections. After injections there was greater likelihood of death or lack of recovery of muscle strength. About three-quarters of the children had received unnecessary injections; of these 60\% had more severe paralysis and a non-paralytic attack became paralytic in 40\%. If oral medicines for fevers and diarrhoea replaced unnecessary injections, the prevalence and severity of paralytic polio would be reduced.
This article was published in Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals