Imagine swimming pools closed on the hottest summer day in fear of a disease  poliomyelitis or polio.   One man, Jonas Salk, and his team of researchers ended that  with the development of an innovative killed-virus vaccine.

Jonas Salk:  Polio Pioneer

 Fear of Polio Epidemic

For generations, polio had caused thousands each year to sicken, develop paralysis, and even die. 
There was no known cure, no treatment that was entirely successful, and the cause was unknown.


Innovation of the Vaccine

Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk's innovative
polio vaccine changed history by eliminating the threat of
polio for much of the world and provided an effective model for future vaccines. 
After years of research, Jonas Salk became convinced the most effective polio
vaccine would be one that used killed poliovirus.  Rather than giving a live but
weakened dose of the virus to someone, Salk believed that the virus had to be
dead.  This was an innovative idea for a crippling disease and one that was
controversial at the time.


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