Polio Prepared: Treatment before Vaccines

"No single event impressed me more than what happened on April 12, 1955, the day the results of the evaluation of the 1954 poliomyelitis vaccine field trials were announced. As I was making my rounds that afternoon, I was taken aback to find a banner stuck on the doors of the respirator wards that read: 'POLIO VACCINE WORKS.' The patients had asked the volunteers, who published an in house newsletter entitled 'The Toomeyville Gazette,' to spread the good news." Robert M. Eiben, MD; 1955; Toomey Pavilion, Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio Polio. Once one of the most feared of diseases, today...

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Deadly Effects: Epidemics, Vaccines, and the Measles Outbreak

The recent outbreak  of measles at Disneyland has spurred a rash of competing newscast, blog posts, and social media responses. One question continues to be foremost--as quoted by CNN correspondent Mariano Castillo, "how bad is it?" Castillo reminds the reader: "to call the news surrounding vaccinations a "debate" is misleading. The scientific and medical consensus is clear: Vaccinations are safe, and they work." The question is not about efficacy but about consequences; parents may have a variety of reasons for not vaccinating their children, sometimes on the grounds of safety or mistrust of the vaccine. However, as pointed...

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