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Polio: A Dogged Disease of Poverty


Polio first appears in recorded human history in 1580 BC. Before widespread use of polio vaccine, polio continued endemic in virtually all low- and middle-income countries. My precious cousin, Roger Hubble, acquired polio in Missouri in the 1950s, and walked with a limp his entire life.


Today, polio treatment remains simply symptomatic and supportive in nature. Mechanical ventilation may be required, as well as long-term rehabilitation with physical therapy and assistive devices. Do you have a research interest? Progress in polio rapid diagnostics and acute intervention are greatly in need of development.


Simultaneously, polio vaccine is extremely vaccine. WHO data demonstrates how polio cases decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases, to just 37 reported cases in 2016. But each successive generation require vaccination, and we dare not relax our guard or against this dogged disease of poverty.

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