Polio Timeline

Timeline created by michelle.cha
  • First U.S. Polio Epidemic

    The first large, documented, polio epidemic in the United States happened in Rutland County, Vermont. Eighteen deaths & 132 cases of permanent paralysis were documented. One of the first physicians to recognize that polio could happen with or without paralysis was Charles Caverly, MD. He didn't assume, that the disease could spread from person to person.
  • Discovery of Polio's Contagious Nature

    After a series of polio epidemics in Sweden, Ivar Wickman (1872-1914) published two very important findings of polio. He first suggested that polio was a contagious disease and could be spread from person to person. He then, recognized that polio could be present in people who didn't appear to have a severe form of the disease. These situations are better known as abortive cases.
  • Virus Filter

    scientists created the first filter that would be able to trap viruses.
  • Discovery of Three Types of Poliovirus

    David Bodian, and Isabel Morgan, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, published a paper naming three types of poliovirus. Their work would be essential for defining a vaccine, as a vaccine would have to provide immunization to all the poliovirus types.
  • Polio Case Surge

    57,628 cases of polio were reported in the U.S in 1952, more than 21,000 of them paralytic cases. This epidemic increased the fear of parents of the disease and directed public awareness on the necessity for a vaccine.
  • Suspension of Polio Vaccination

    Leonard Scheele, the U.S. Surgeon General, suspended the polio vaccination program to review the safety of all six operators’ vaccines.
  • Global Polio Eradication Initiative

    At its annual meeting, the World Health Assembly voted to begin a global polio eradication initiative. At the time, polio was endemic in 125 countries. The initiative called for the elimination of the disease by the year 2000.
  • Polio Reduction Cases

    A total of 719 cases of wild polio were announced in 2000. When the worldwide elimination program began in 1988, there had been 350,000 predicted cases; the decline in cases from 1988 to 2000 had reached 99%.
  • Geneva Declaration on Polio Signed

    Representatives from the six remaining polio-endemic countries (Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger, Pakistan, and Nigeria) signed the Geneva Declaration for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis, pledging themselves to “successfully fulfilling increased polio immunization activities to stop transmission of the poliovirus by the end of 2004.”