A Paralyzing Fear

90mins | 1998 | HistoryNR
Seldom has society come full circle in the cycle of a disease from illness, to an epidemic to cure. Polio is the 20th century's most notable exception. Every baby boomer remembers collecting dimes in their dime cards, hearing about the success of the Salk shot, and lining up for oral vaccine in a sugar cube. But few know the story of how polio came to America in 1916 and grew into the frightening epidemics of the 1940's and 50's when the diseases crippled tens of thousands of children every summer. Led by a president crippled by the virus himself, the battle against polio was the first, and perhaps most successful fight against a disease. This fascinating story is told here using thousands of photographs and films along with interviews with polio survivors, their families, nurses, doctors, and community leaders, brining to life an America that was both brave and innocent= when people believed in scientists, government, and the power of every person in the fight to protect the children.
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