Chasing the Polio Bug

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
Ecker Center for Mental Health's Festival of Trees.    The club sponsored this tree to raise money for mental health treatment at Ecker Center.  
Rotary Club of Elgin supports local not-for-profits as well as the worldwide eradication of the Polio Virus. 
Why it’s important: 
World Polio Day (October 24) was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are vaccines.
In 1952, the polio epidemic became the worst outbreak in America’s history.  Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.
In the two years before the vaccine was widely available, the average number of polio cases in the U.S. was more than 45,000. By 1962, that number dropped to 910.
In 1980, WHO certified the world free from smallpox.  However, an estimated 500,000 children worldwide were still being paralysed by polio every year.
In 2016, there were a total of 37 polio cases worldwide.
To date in 2017, there have been 12 polio cases worldwide.
We’re 99.5% polio-free, but it’s not enough.
It takes only one case, one unimmunized child to keep the polio virus alive and crippling children in our world.  If immunizations were stopped, the following year, there would be an estimated 200,000 new cases of polio.