Jonas Salk's Polio Epidemic

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“In 1952, polio reached its peak when over 58,000 cases were reported, including 3,145 deaths.” (About Jonas Salk) Polio is among the top ten epidemics in the United States history and the widespread panic created by it could have continued longer without the polio vaccine’s inventor, Jonas Salk. Although Jonas Salk’s intentions and methods were called into question by many, his Poliomyelitis vaccine ended the polio epidemic of the early-mid 20th century.
On October 28, 1914, Jonas Salk was born in New York City, New York, to Daniel and Dora Salk. While growing up, he was an exceptional student and excelled in school. He attended Townsend Harris High School for gifted students and graduated at the age of 15. That following fall he went to the College of the City of New York intending to go into business. One day he signed up for a science class and enjoyed it so much that he changed his degree. At the age of 19 he earned his Bachelors of Science degree, in 1934. With the excellences he demonstrated in
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However, this wasn’t the worst attack. On August 3, 200 children were admitted to the hospital with the same symptoms that onset the polio disease. Overall, 9,023 cases were reported and 2,448 people died, many of which were children (Berger). At the time only 20 out of the 48 states had to report cases of polio to the government. Of those 20 states that did report evidence of polio they totaled 27,000 paralyzed people and 7,179 deaths, although it is estimated to be much higher (Hargrove). Polio was not a discriminant disease; It was contracted by the rich, poor, Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic races. For example, some famous people stricken by it were Judy Holliday, an actress, and our very own president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Millions of adults and children contracted this disease, and many more American’s feared the havoc it was bringing

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