'Up to 12,000' people suffer post-polio effects in Wales

Children queuing for a police vaccination Image copyright British Pathe
Image caption Children have be vaccinated against polio since the 1950s

Thousands of people who had polio when they were younger should be aware of developing further health problems, a charity has warned.

The British Polio Fellowship (BFP) said only 7% of people in the UK were aware of "post polio syndrome".

Symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain and breathing problems.

Up to 12,000 people in Wales could be affected, more than 60 years after the first polio vaccine was developed.

Coral Williams, 71, from Cwmbran, Torfaen, is a volunteer with the charity and was contracted polio when she was three.

Image caption Coral Williams suffers from chronic fatigue, muscle pain and needs to use a wheelchair

She was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome in 1984 after chronic pain in her legs forced her to give up work.

"There are people out there, not only people but doctors as well, who are not finding out about people who have had polio and what they're suffering now is the late effect of polio," she said.

Her daughter, Angela Locke, BFP's chairwoman in Wales, said raising awareness among families and doctors could improve outcomes for sufferers as they receive appropriate treatment more quickly.

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