Thank you for posting this. I'm old enough to remember the terror that came every summer. The weather would get really hot - no one had air conditioning - and our parents wouldn't let us go out to play because of the fear of polio. There were children in my classes at school that wore leg braces and walked with crutches because of polio. I remember 1 or 2 students who disappeared and it was because they had contracted polio and were not able to attend school any longer.
The entire subject of vaccinations is so volatile now....are they bad...do they cause all types of other issues? But, when I think about polio and the devastation it can and has caused I thank God for Jonas Salk and Dr. Sabin.
Thank goodness for vaccines! The anti-vaccine nazis aren't from generations that saw pain and suffering from these diseases.
I also was deeply disturbed by this article. I am just old enough to remember the tail end of polio, after the vaccine had arrived but while many kids still dealt with the effects of the disease. The thought that Syria, which had NO cases up until just a few years ago, now has an epidemic is disgusting and frightening.
Some years ago I had a discussion with a co-worker, a perfectly nice woman, about the distrust of vaccines. She said airily that she didn't think doctors had all the answers, and they had vested interests in promoting vaccines anyway. So if she ever had children, she wouldn't get them immunized. Fortunately this woman is childless and at her age will remain so. I said, what about polio? She literally didn't see the difference between polio and any of the other illnesses. She made some other lighthearted remark about taking what doctors said with a grain of salt. I'm telling you, I came as close as I ever do to climbing down someone's throat. I had to walk away before I said something that would drive a hatchet through our friendship. The idea that an educated woman in the twenty-first century would even entertain such a viewpoint made me wonder how many others like her are out there, comfortable in their deluded perception that there is some herd immunity protecting their kids from diseases many oceans away. There are no oceans anymore. Everything is only a plane ride away, as war erodes the safety net of a country's once-effective public health system and refugees (and business travelers) cross boundaries.
Jonas Salk, not to mention Franklin Roosevelt, must be turning over in the grave.