September 14 - Lila Bennett - My life with Polio
Lila was a 5yo student in Scotland when she contracted Polio – the only child in the school! She had to go to Dundee Infectious Diseases Hospital with family only visiting at weekends and then just talking through a glass window. She later went to Rehab a little closer to home and was eventually allowed home with exercises to do. Lila said she recovered well and spent 50 years without any problems. But in the last few years she has had the effects of Post Polio Syndrome. This started to appear in the 1980s and there are at present over 400,000survivors of Polio in Australia and approximately 80% of these will develop Post Polio Syndrome. There is one other lady in Yarrawonga and there over 40 at a meeting in Wodonga. Symptoms can be fatigue, & weakness, difficulty with breathing and swallowing, lowered tolerance of cold, balance and falls. Treatment is to work out a balance of exercise and rest & conserve energy Unfortunately often only 1 in 5 G.Ps recognize and diagnose PPS and only 1 hospital in Victoria has a Polio Alert Programme. Post Polio Group is lobbying the Government for more help to make people aware that “We’re Still Here”. The Polio virus can live in the gut and therefore in sewerage, so there is probably the need for a new vaccine. An outbreak in Ukraine & Syria (both warring countries) show that vaccination needs to continue.