Management and Therapy


The use of OPV and IPV ( the polio vaccines) has helped to virtually wipe out polio from much of the Western Hemisphere.  Most developed countries have been able to control this disease with tight immunization programs so much so that polio is often referred to as the "forgotten disease".

Control of the virus in developing countries such as parts of Africa and Asia have not experienced as much success with vaccination programs.  There are still over 250,000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis each year.


Once infected, there really is no cure for poliomyelitis.  Patients are made as comfortable as possible with bed rest and pain relievers.  Some may also have trouble breathing and respirators may be used.  The "iron lung" was popularized during the 1950's where patients were put in large iron chamber that acted as mechanical respirators.


Although the common cold may seem like one of the most harmless and inconsequential viruses, there has yet to be a proven  cure.  Many swear  by home remedies like chicken soup, hot steam,  and vitamin C.

Alternative medicines: vitamin C, Echinacea, Zinc, Antioxidants, Garlic.  (See the  Common Cold Web Page  for more information.)

Medications temporarily relieve symptoms:

Treatment Type Symptoms Treated Active Ingredient Examples
Analgesic/antipyretic reduce fever
pain killer
ibuprophen,naproxyn sodium
tylenol, advil,alleve
Decongestant relieves congestion pseudoephedrine hydrochloride Sudafed
Antitussive cough suppressant dextromethorpahn hydrobromide Robitussin DM
Expectorant loosens secretions guaifenesin Robitussin
Antihistamine treat sneezing and runny nose
(more effective for treatment of allergy symptoms)
brompheniramine maleate Dimetapp

Hepatitis A

Since Hepatitis A is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, the virus can probably be controlled by increasing standards of hygeine and sanitation especially in key sources like water supplies and sewage disposal.  People who dispense food also need to be careful about washing their hands after defecation.

Another source of management is use of immunization.  Programs have used human immunoglbulins to protect people in highly endemic regions.  As of 1992, a hepatitis A vaccine was llicensed and has been used mostly to immunize high risk groups like travelers, intrvenous drug users, military personnel, animal handlers, hospital staff etc.

There is no effective treatment.