The Bubonic Plague: The Polio Vaccine

Decent Essays
“The single biggest threat to man’s continued dominance on the planet is the virus” Nobel Prize winner Joshua Lederberg once said. Throughout history, this statement has proved to be true. In fourteenth century Europe, the Bubonic Plague killed off almost half of the European population. During the first interactions between Columbus and the natives, Smallpox eradicated entire Native tribes. And in the time of the Industrial Revolution, cholera outbreaks have left millions dead. Since their outbreaks, many of these deadly viruses have been met with cures, saving millions of lives to come. However, for almost 3,500 years, one incurable virus had been attacking humanity: the poliovirus.1P
Polio, short for poliomyelitis, is a disease caused by the contraction of the poliovirus. Like influenza, smallpox and cholera, polio is a viral infection. This means that it is a disease caused by the spread of a virus. It spreads rapidly, and usually through person-to-person contact. In addition, this virus can also be distributed through foods or drinks contaminated by infected fecal matter. Although polio is deadly, sometimes, contractors of polio do not show any symptoms. The
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In 1947, the NFIP was looking for someone capable in researching a polio vaccine, and there was no candidate better for this research than Dr. Jonas Salk.7P Salk was a very experienced researcher; he played a crucial role in the development of influenza vaccines during World War II, and also had a deep understanding of the immune system and antibodies.8B Additionally, Salk also worked to treat multiple sclerosis, cancer, and HIV.9C Together, in the 8 years that followed after recruitment, Salk and the NFIP would take a stand against polio by successfully trying to put an end to polio through the use of
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