Polio Vaccine: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:45 by admin
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly contagious viral infection spread through food, water, or person-to-person contact. The disorder may lead to paralysis and even death in infected patients. The disease was a major cause for concern during the first half of the twentieth century. In the early 1950's over 20,000 cases were reported annually in the United States alone. Fortunately, a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk that same decade, virtually eliminated polio from most of the developed world. In fact, by 1994 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Americas free of the disease.

For years, two types of vaccines were administered: one was given via injection (Salk vaccine) and another orally (Sabin vaccine). In the summer of 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to eliminate the use of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) in favor of the injected version. OPV, which is made from a live virus, actually caused polio in one out of every 2.4 million doses given.

See a doctor if your child experiences an adverse reaction to the polio vaccine. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your child's legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Vaccines: Overview
  2. Infections
  3. Paralysis: Overview
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