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Pop-Up Library - World Polio Day

History

Monday, October 24, 2022 has been declared World Polio Day by Rotary International, as they fight to eradicate this horrific disease.

Poliomyelitis, otherwise known as Polio, is one of the most feared viral diseases known today. The virus primarily strikes children and kills them or cripples them for life. The disease is thought to have been around for thousands of years, as evidenced by carvings on Egyptian stele showing figures with withered legs: one of the more well-known signs that someone survived polio as a child.

In the 1950s, the race was on to develop a vaccine to save children from polio. Dr. Jonas Salk released the vaccine in 1955, finally ending the grip that polio had on the world. 

Rotary International took up  the fight in 1985 to eradicate the polio virus, just as the smallpox virus had been eradicated earlier. To date, two of the three strains of the polio virus have been eliminated, The work continues to eradicate the final strain polio so that no more children will have to suffer and die from the virus.

 

 

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View our research guides for links and more information about viruses, immunology and other topics in the biological sciences.