Polio: An American Story By David M. Oshinsky

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Polio: An Eradicated Disease It was unthinkable for someone to contract polio if they were born in the 1960s or later in America. To that generation and after, polio was just another fleeting disease. People born before this time period are reminded how frightening the disease was, which debilitated thousands of people. The spread of polio could not seem to be stopped until a vaccine was found. Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky describes the stories of how polio was triumphed. Polio impacted the United States by affecting the lifestyle of people, attracting the attention of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and by influencing scientists to investigate and experiment to find the cure for the deadly disease.
Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease caused by poliovirus, which can cause chronic paralysis and weakness in the nerves. Polio was always an issue in the early 20th century in the United States, with cases numbering the ten …show more content…

The lifestyle of people during an outbreak was greatly affected. Everyone stayed away from swimming pools as it was thought that the polio virus was contracted through water. Franklin Delano Roosevelt contracted polio after his visit to his vacation house in Canada, which had a lake. It was later shown in a study that chlorine rendered the poliovirus inactive. Many public areas were shut down such as camps, theaters, and schools, and many activities were abandoned. According to Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky, less skin was revealed by women to eliminate the spread of germs, “churches adopted individual communion cups, and cities installed sanitary water fountains” (36). Even though many precautions were taken to prevent the spread of germs, they did not necessarily help like with other diseases. Researchers and scientists could not seem to find the cause of the disease or how it spread. This caused a panic to many people and a feeling of

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