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The war on Polio - Essay Example

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Date The War on Polio Polio became a concern to the United States during the Second World War when the U.S solders that were operating in North Africa were greatly affected by the disease. Even though the disease has a much longer history, it became a major challenge in the United States during World War II…
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Download file to see previous pages President Roosevelt thereby established the Warm Springs Foundation; a polio hydrotherapy center. The organization grew rapidly since it received much support and funding from several sectors. At the time of Roosevelt’s death in 1945, the foundation had already been transformed into the National Foundation which had become a strong organization dealing with voluntary health issues and funding polio research in the United States. In 1948, a significant discovery was made in the United States in relation to the fight against polio. The discovery was made by John Enders with a team of scientists from Harvard University. It was discovered that the virus which caused polio could be cultivated in the non-nervous tissues of the body. This important breakthrough led to the subsequent manufacture of the Polio vaccine. Jonas Salk took a keen interest in this realization and created the formalin-inactive virus that became known as the Salk’s vaccine. Before its release into the market, the vaccine underwent very intensive trials and authorizations in a bid to ensure that it could safely and effectively immunize people against the polio virus. Even though other vaccines became accepted for use against the Polio virus, the Salk vaccine was largely adopted in the United States in the fight against the disease. For instance, Albert Sabin came up with an Oral Poliovirus Vaccine (OPV) in 1948 which was extensively used across the world throughout the next two decades. The OPV eventually ousted Salk’s IPV as the choice vaccine in the United States. This was basically out of the fact that OPV was administered orally and not through injection. Secondly, OPV used a powerful mechanism called “herd immunity” which could effectively provide immunity to unvaccinated people living near those already vaccinated. Even though the challenge of polio was much addressed in the United States, there was still the danger of the virus since frequent epidemics were a common occurrence in many parts of North Africa and Europe in the post-World War II days. In the mid-1950s the two vaccines effectively helped in combating the menace hitherto realized as a result of the polio virus (Orr 78). IPV and OPV have eradicated most cases of polio from several regions across the world. It must be admitted that the fight against polio is one of the most successful battles ever launched in the history of medicine and healthcare. In the developed world like the United States, it can effectively be stated that polio is no longer a great challenge compared to some of the emerging healthcare issues. However in certain parts of the world, polio is still a major challenge given the remoteness of these areas which limits their accessibility to the polio vaccines. In any case, the few cases of polio normally reported in the United States are basically imported from the developing world where the disease could still be a challenge. The war against polio might not have been a really smooth affair throughout the long timeframe. Many challenges always characterized the undertaking from the onset of the research on the vaccines. These challenges range from the post-polio syndrome to the financial aspects in dealing with the challenge in the developing world. Nevertheless, amid all these limitations, it can be well argued that the research ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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