History of polio

to the present.An Egyptian stele portrays a priest with a withered leg, suggesting that polio has existed for thousands of years British physician Dr Michael Underwood attempts the first-known clinical description of polio called “debility of the lower extremities”In Germany, Dr Jacob von Heine conducts the first systemcatic investigation of polio and

The WHO European region is certified polio-free. Join Flo as we explore the history of polio as well as the scientists who discovered the polio vaccine. She is a 15 month old girl called Mum Chanty living near Phnom Penh, Cambodia In Turkey on 26 November 1998, Melik Minas, a 33 month old unvaccinated child is the last child paralysed by indigenous wild poliovirus in the European region The UN Secretary General agrees to negotiate truces for immunization in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The first clinical description was provided by the English physician Michael Underwood in 1789, where he refers to polio as "a debility of the lower extremities". As a result, during the 1970s routine immunization was introduced worldwide as part of national immunization programmes, helping to control the disease in many developing countries.Today, wild poliovirus continues to circulate in only two countries, and global incidence of polio cases has decreased by 99%.There has also been success in eradicating certain strains of the virus; of the three types of wild polioviruses (WPVs), the last case of type 2 was reported in 1999 and its eradication was declared in September 2015; the most recent case of type 3 dates to November 2012 and this strain was declared as globally eradicated in October 2019. Polio eradication becomes the World Health Organization’s "top operational priority" Outbreaks in Central African Republic, Guinea, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire are successfully stoppedLarge outbreaks with more than 400 cases wild poliovirus occur in both Tajikistan and Congo. The work of physicians Jakob Heine in 1840 and Karl Oskar Medinin 1890 led to it being known as Heine–Medin disease. In Africa, synchronized National Immunization Days in 23countries target 80 million children –the largest coordinated polio immunization effort on the continentNew monovalent oral polio vaccines (mOPV) become available to enhance the impact of supplementary immunization activities Four endemic countries remain: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. years later they receive the Nobel Prize for their work. Canada, having suffered its worst outbreak in 1953 (almost 9,000 cases of all types of polio), quickly began production of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, and in 1965 only three cases of polio were reported.

In the early 20th century, polio was one of the most feared diseases in industrialized countries, paralysing hundreds of thousands of children every year. The last case of wild polio occurs in the WHO region of the Americas. develops the theory that the disease may be contagious.

History of Polio. Soon after the introduction of effective vaccines in the 1950s and 1960s however, polio was brought under control and practically eliminated as a public health problem in these countries.

On International Peace Day, 80 000 previously inaccessible children are reached with polio vaccine in southern Afghanistan A new outbreak of polio spreads from Nigeria to West Africa.

This site explores the history of polio, the science and philanthropy behind the vaccines, the experiences of people who contracted polio and their influence on American culture, and current global efforts at stopping transmission of the poliovirus.

Subsequently a new outbreak occurs. Michael Underwood first described a debility of the lower extremities in children that was recognizable as poliomyelitis in England in 1789. 500 million children are vaccinated in 100 countries. Belgium began using the Salk vaccine in 1958 and the Sabin vaccine in 1963; as a result, polio disappeared as an Lameness surveys during the 1970s revealed that the disease was also prevalent in developing countries.


Polio is a serious viral infection that was globally prevalent before the 1980s. Few diseases frightened parents more in the early part of the 20 th century than polio did.

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