About Polio

Key Fact: 16 million people are walking today as a result of a 99% reduction in cases since 1998 due to effective vaccination programmes.

Cases: 37 cases worldwide annually.

Symptoms: Fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck, pain in the limbs43

Severe Case: Paralysis (in the legs, muscles used for breathing), death.

Precaution: Vaccination

About Tetanus

Key Fact: In the UK, around 1 in every 7–10 people who develop tetanus will die from the condition.

Percutaneous: Infection with Clostridium tetani through a scratch, wound or animal bite, or unhygienic hospital practices.

Cases: 1 million cases worldwide annually (estimated).

Symptoms: Stiffness in the jaw muscles (lockjaw), painful muscle spasms (affecting swallowing and breathing), fever, sweating, rapid heartbeat.

Severe Case: Suffocation, cardiac arrest, death.

Precaution: Vaccination; Appropriate and thorough wound care.

About Diphtheria

Key Fact: 5-10% of people who get the infection will die from complications.

Respiratory: Person-to-person through close contact with someone infected with C. diphtheria, or their possessions.

Cases: 4,530 cases worldwide annually (estimated)

Symptoms: Mild fever (rarely >38.3 degrees), sore throat, difficulty swallowing, malaise, loss of appetite, and if the larynx is involved, hoarseness.

Severe Case: Pseudo-membranes form in the throat, tonsils, pharynx and larynx causing a potentially fatal obstruction of the airway and breathing difficulties.

Precautions: Ensure diphtheria vaccinations are up-to-date or obtain a booster if travelling to endemic areas; Regular and thorough hand hygiene; Minimise contact with people showing symptoms of respiratory illness; Avoid sharing personal items such as eating drinking utensils, toothbrushes and towels; Regularly cleaning surfaces susceptible to carrying infection.